A group of veteran activists and young turks alike, inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Demonstrate on Feb 4 against Racial Hysteria Promoted by Republicans

There will be a demonstration at 122 East 83rd Street, on 4 February 2011 at 1:30pm.  This demonstration will be held because of the consistent appeals to Racial Hysteria made by the leading 2 of the leading candidates for the Republican Nomination, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum.  Ron Paul shares in this attempt to fan the flames of racial hatred by his Newsletter, and what may be worse - Mitt Romney has stood on the podium while these comments are made and says nothing, yet he feels he's qualified to lead a nation. This demonstration is being held to show our disgust and rejection of those that would use our election to stigmatize an entire race of people. It is an American demonstration against Hate.  We invite all Americans regardless of party affiliation or racial or ethnic background to participate in this demonstration to show that this is not Nazi Germany or the Old American South, and that we will not let certain Wealthy Elites take what should be an arena to contest opposing political and economic ideas and turn it into a Cockfight based on attempt to arouse hatred.
    The P.O.C for this demonstration is:
        Robert C Gumbs
        Co-Chairman of the Community Church's Anti-Racism Committee
        Chief Executive Officer of the Concerned Forum
        Phone Number: 212-234-2316
        Email:                  oedipus000@yahoo.com

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Nellie Hester Bailey Replies to Gloria Dulan Wilson

Greetings all,
It's a shame Gloria shows not a modicum of respect for herself, a supposed journalist no less! Therein lies the problem. Die hard supporters of Obama tolerate no critique, analysis or calls to hold Obama accountable for ANYTHING including his lies and betrayals to the people, most of all to his core Black base! The Prez's message is clear, "Give me your votes but not your pain."

 In fact reactionary cultural Black nationalists like Gloria straddle the fence loving Obama while hating whitey. They want us to believe the US plutocracy (white ruling class) amassed a 1 billion dollars campaign chest to elect Obama so he would serve the interest of Black people, the poor and working class. The delusions of these reactionary Black nationalists range from "Obama gave Black folks a wink and a nod message" to  "Michelle will set him straight" defies reality and indicates a profound psychosis within Obama's Black America. 

Gloria is the perfect dupe! Her hysterical rants and raves tolerate no room for dissent, no room for protest, no room for civil discourse, no room for democratic principles in a supposed democracy and presumably she has no regard for nation states that are victims of US resource wars, occupations and "shock and awe" military aggression. Clearly this woman has no understanding of who is behind  the occupation of Haiti! Does she believe Obama's appointment of Clinton favors the interest of Haitians earning two dollars a day?

 Does Gloria believe Obama's HUD turning over ownership of Grant Public Housing to Citigroups (the third largest bank in the US) favors Black renters in Harlem? Is Gloria so out of touch underneath the rock she lives that Obama's HUD awarding millions in federal funds to Harlem charter school  kingpin Geoffrey Canada to build the Promise Academy charter school on the grounds of St. Nicholas Public Housing Project  is not distressing news? Does she not understand the escalating pace of this administration's privatization of public housing and public education? Gloria apparently has no knowledge of hedge fund millionaire Stanley Druckenmiller's position as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Harlem Children's Zone or that Goldman Sachs on the same board. Harlem now the silicon valley of charter schools is part and parcel of a nationwide movement financed by Wall Street bankers, the same Wall Street that got a whopping 16 trillion dollars bailout courtesy of the Obama administration.

 Instead this so called journalist would have us focus our attention on the powerless Black managerial class of Harlem now stripped of any pretense of influence with the humiliating demotion of Rangel, a faith servant of the white ruling class who forgot his place! Gloria and other dupes of her ilk haven't an inkling of Wall Street's dominance and control over Harlem. Wall Street that now owns Carver Federal Savings Bank, no longer the oldest Black Bank, no longer Black owned having met its fate after being placed in federal receivership. And you who how much Wall Street coughed up, a lousy five million dollars bailout!

For years white media pundits, racists and do good liberals excoriated Black people for their "unfounded"  paranoia: "the government is out to get us",  "they want to put us in concentration camps",  "they are building concentration camps" etc.  But not a peep from these folks after Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012.

According to the ACLU, " the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA),authorizeS the president to send the military literally anywhere in the world to imprison civilians without charge or trial, based on suspicion alone. The power is so sweeping that the president would be able to direct the military to use its powers within the United States itself, and even lock up American citizens without charge or trial.No corner of the world, not even your own home, would be off-limits to the military. And there is no exception for American citizens. Section 1031 — one of the indefinite detention provisions — of the Senate-approved version of the NDAA has no limitations whatsoever based on geography, duration or citizenship. And the entire Senate bill was drafted in secret, with no hearing, and with committee votes behind closed doors."

And of course the bitter irony for blind Obama supporters is that any sitting President including right wing Republican can now authorize NDAA!! We should all applaud the white man Chris Hedges for suing Obama and Leon Panetta. But leave it to Gloria and company to mound a "racist" attack against Hedges!

In fact, upon reflection, Gloria has effectively destroyed any credentials she held as a journalist. But she is our sister, and we have to struggle through this Obama madness with love and humanity for one another and the world! I know that history will absolve those who took courageous stands of dissent and protest in the path of many who went before us including MLK.  King admonished the nation to judge a man not by the color of his skin but the content of his character, THIS DOES NOT EXCLUDE OBAMA!
Many thanks to those who have supported our work throughout the years!

And finally let us all applaud, as rare as it is, supporters of Obama who do not fear debate and dissent from those who want to suppress healthy public discourse. Much is made of the legitimate fears of Black who see the rise of white fascism in the Republican party, a reality that never abated. It was Ronald Reagan who opened his presidential campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi where the murder of three civil rights workers took place. But it was President Bill Clinton who put more Black people in prison than Reagan, the key strategy of the Democratic Party to win back defected "dixiecrats".Essentially, the point being, there is no discernable difference between the Democratic and Republican parties, both owned lock and stock and barrel by Wall Street. I don't presume to tell anyone whom to vote for, but I do encourage political education and awareness through all sources including dissent, protest and critical analysis.

Nellie Bailey, Occupy Harlem

On Thu, Jan 19, 2012 at 11:45 PM, Makemba X <makemba007@hotmail.com> wrote:
It is ashame that Gloria doesn't show the same respect for people who DO NOT SUPPORT OBAMA, because she sends her unsolicited pro-OBAMA sentiment all over the place and has repeatedly sent that nonsense to me, even though I have asked her not to do so.    It seems that part of the scheme to get Obama is reelected is for Obama-ites to shamelessly spam people!

And gee, instead of Gloria telling you that you need for Obama to back you up, why doesn't she look at who Obama tends to hang with when he does come near Harlem.   I remember when he was campaigning he made a point of visiting Bloomberg.   And then the last time that I heard he was in Harlem was at some so called fund raiser, that cost several thousands of dollars.

I am not going to support some war mongoring, anti reparationist, imperialist invader no matter who that person is, and no matter his color.   And I certainly would have been in Harlem tonight with Nellie, protesting Obama's utter betrayal of the American public via the NDAA, but personal issues did not allow it.

Lisa V. Davis

Date: Wed, 18 Jan 2012 19:08:02 -0400
From: occupyharlemgeneralassembly@gmail.com
To: gloriadulanwilson@gmail.com
CC: theblacklist-request@lists.riseup.nettheblacklist@lists.riseup.net

Subject: [TheBlackList] Re: Will remove you from email list
Gloria, You are a journalist so I sent you the info. Will remove your name from our email list. Dissent and free speech are cornerstones of US "democracy" a principle often times acknowledged by Obama. In addition Obama has repeatedly admonished his supporters to hold him accountable.  Protest is one venue to do that! Peace.  Nellie

On Wed, Jan 18, 2012 at 6:21 PM, Gloria Dulan-Wilson <gloriadulanwilson@gmail.com> wrote:
Hi Nettie:
You are hereby blocked from sending me any more emails.  As I have warned you and all others in the past, I will not countenance any anti-Obama mail - period.
You wanna occupy harlem you need to deal with those individuals within Harlem that have sold Harlem out - long before Obama even considered running for president.
You have your sites set in the wrong direction on the wrong target, and while you're doing that, Harlem is being stolen from right under our very noses, and going to hell in a handbasket.
You need Obama to back you up; so stop trying to tear him down.  Deal with those characters who are right there within arms reach that you appear to be afraid to confront.  President Obama is a "safe" target and a scapegoat for those who are not willing to really take a stand for the gentrification and ethnic cleansing that is happening in your community.
Ask yourself who owns Harlem.  and if cannot see your name on a condo, co-op, brownstone, or house - ask yourself why?
Ask yourself what is happening to the BLACK businesses in Harlem? 
Get Real -
Get to the heart of the issue
Get off Obama's back and back him up, before all Harlem is back on someone's plantation somewhere, because were too focused on divide and conquer b.s. issues to deal with who's really back of all this crap.
Stay Blessed &
Gloria Dulan-Wilson


Cynthia Mckinney Reports from Seattle

Most people know about being "Sleepless in Seattle."  Well, I am "snowed in in Seattle!"  But even six inches of snow in Seattle don't keep me from becoming steamed when I read the latest news reports on the activities of the U.S. war machine:

At a time when U.S.-Iran tensions are the highest I have experienced in my lifetime, Danger Room of wired.com breaks a news story on 19 January 2012 that a new United States commando special operations team is operating near Iran.  Meanwhile, a columnist in Lebanon's "The Daily Star" newspaper writes that Syria increasingly looks like Libya.  And at the same time, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta admits in a press conference that he believes that the annual number of sexual assaults in the U.S. military could number as high as 19,000.  This is from the Administration that shamefully accused the Libyan Jahamiriya military of issuing Viagra to its soldiers and using rape as a weapon.  And finally, coming hot on the heels of an Algeria-ISP report that that the Obama Administration offered to reconstitute the Libyan military, forming desert troops, special forces, and a Libyan air force, tunisiefocus.com reports reports that U.S. troops are already in Libya, in Brega, Ras Lanouf, and Sirte, in order to secure Libyan oil for western markets at a very cheap price.  Further, these reports indicate that US troops are at Mitiga Air Base east of Tripoli and that NATO helicopters and war planes fly over Libyan towns, surveilling everything including parties held by Libyans (http://www.algeria-isp.com/videos/politique-libye/201201-V1682/libye-video-voir-helicoptere-otan-janvier-2012.html) and that drones launched from a secret base in the Libyan desert surveille Libya and neighboring countries:  http://www.algeria-isp.com/actualites/politique-libye/201112-A7555/libye-une-base-militaire-secrete-americaine-francaise-libye-katroune-video-voir-decembre-2011.html.

Last week, I reported on numerous reports that I had read indicating that U.S. troops were on the island of Malta waiting for the word to deploy to Libya.  If the above reports are correct, then it would appear that that word has been given.  Interestingly, the reports of U.S. troops were reported in several African, Libyan, and Russian online sites, yet there was no response from either Malta or the U.S.  In fact, the Russian site za-afriku.ru as late as 19 January 2012 wrote, "The administration of the United States still has not refuted a lot of messages in various MEDIA for the transfer of 12000 troops on Malta as a preliminary step to the further redeployment in Libya in order to control the deteriorating situation in the country."
I am pleased to report that both Malta and the U.S. Embassy in Malta,  while neglecting the many reports out there describing U.S. and NATO activities in Libya, felt compelled to respond to my report of this information in apparently coordinated responses.  The government of Malta stated in its one line response, "The allegations are completely false."  The U.S. Embassy in Malta followed suit.  However, I want to stress that while the responses are welcome and appreciated, given events of the recent past, it is U.S. activities in Libya that are are of utmost concern at this moment.  All U.S. troops must be brought home, yet the following video was posted today of the U.S. war machine on the roll, destination unknown:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OS-PmhhxPG4.  As you watched that video, I hope you thought about the number of teachers or nurses or solar heating systems could be procured with the money wasted on this massive number of tanks, going where?

Well, right now, the U.S. admittedly has special forces in Uganda, South Sudan, 9,000 troops in Kuwait, radar, and for the first time ever, U.S. troops in Israel.  Drone bases across the African Continent are in Djibouti, Seychelles, Ethiopia, and Kenya.  On drones, Human Rights Watch says, "CIA drone strikes have become an almost daily occurrence around the world, but little is known about who is killed and under what circumstances."  Drone strikes occur in Somalia and bases are expanding to the Arabian Peninsula.  Even worse, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), an adjunct to the U.S. war machine, has affiliates all over the world--just ask Nicaragua and Venezuela about their experiences with the NED. 

Nigerian military sources have confirmed for African news outlets that US troops are scheduled to be deployed to Nigeria after AFRICOM's 2008 war game scenario that saw 20,000 U.S. troops maintaining "security" of the Niger Delta oil fields within a dissolved and anarchistic Nigeria.  That war game setting was 2013.  This is Plan Colombia.  Does the Obama Administration plan an African Continent-wide Plan Colombia?  Why such a militarization of U.S. relationships all over the world--and even here at home?  Will chaos and wars (like what is happening in Libya today) be created all over Africa and the rest of Asia?

Last week, I sent a video of Amnesty International admitting that the allegation of "African mercenaries" was a lie; at the time, it was the U.S. and NATO that had employed mercenaries--not only the Qataris, U.S. contractors, Italians, French, and British special forces, but also including the members of the National Transitional Council.  That message also included a video of an African beaten to death by these Libyan U.S./NATO allies.  That message went viral and forced a response from the authorities.  Please circulate this message widely so that maybe we can get some more responses from the Administration about its policy direction.  Contact the White House at www.whitehouse.gov, tell them to bring our young men and women home, keep the tanks home, and don't use them. 

Tell the White House that you will cast your vote for peace--to stop the drones and bring our troops home.

Finally, a sad day in journalism continues.  I just received word that the owner of the Atlanta Jewish Times, Andrew Adler, apologized for saying that the Israeli government ought to consider killing Barack Obama.  This is outrageous.  I have been "deconstructed" by this very same publication, so I am doubly saddened by this kind of loose talk by someone of authority and responsibility at the Atlanta Jewish Times indicating that assassinating President Obama should be an option that remains on the table for Israel to carry out.  Enuff said.

I tried to send a photo of the Seattle snow, but for some reason, it's not coming through.  I'll send it later if I can!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Nellie Bailey Discusses the Critics of the Obama Demonstration

A few articles on Democratic Party-friendly blog sites. specifically
have attempted to discredit Occupy Harlem's January 19th protest against Barack Obama as a tone-deaf invasion of Harlem by white Occupy Wall Street protesters. In fact, the demonstration was called and lead by Occupy Harlem launched on October 22nd in the Central Harlem community, home of the Apollo Theater. (visit @occupyharlemnow twitter site for media coverage). The writers of these stories reveal their ignorance or have selectively ignored a number of relevant facts.

Co-convener of Occupy Harlem Nellie Bailey organized a protest against Obama in March of 2011 when the President appeared at the upscale Red Rooster Restaurant for a $38,000 plate dinner fundraiser. The demonstration was covered by the Amsterdam News, the oldest Black newspaper in the city.  Bailey was also the organizer of “Obama, Race, Class & Politics,” three critical thinking community forums in 2008. The Harlem series were described as: “Obammania: Post Racial America, Neo-liberalism, War and the Democratic Party Candidates Safeguarding the Strategic Interests of a Crumbling and Broken Empire. What are Our Alternative?” These events occurred long before the existence of Occupy Wall Street!

Furthermore, in an interview that appeared in the Huffington Post in November of 2011 Occupy Harlem took on the “divide and conquer” strategy of the establishment to prevent the coalescing of a unified movement. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/31/occupy-harlem-organizers-_n_1067790.html)

Therefore, we ask, what’s behind these attacks to discredit the January 19th protest by writing it off as an initiative of non-Harlemites? Such accusations are eerily reminiscent of attempts to discredit the 50s and 60s civil rights movement in the south as simply a product of "outside agitators."  The inference that Occupy Harlem and protesting Blacks are misguided dupes of a white OWS smacks of racism! It suggest Blacks are incapable of critical thinking and analysis regarding Obama’s presidency.

Much more diabolical are attempts to suggest protesting Lyndon LaRouche extremists were part of the Occupy Harlem protest. This is a blatant lie!  NYPD herded all protesters into the same pen across the street from the Apollo Theater. In mic check after mic check the LaRouchites were denounced again and again, even derisively called out as “looney tunies!” In particular, the Occupy crowd took on the LaRouchites’ politically inept portrayal of Obama as Hitler. Occupy protesters  in no time physically separated themselves from the LaRouche group, a point conceded in Allison Kilkenny's "In These Times" report (http://inthesetimes.com/uprising/entry/12594/harlem_gives_occupy_tense_reception).

One liberal blog with a history of supporting the Democratic Party selectively ran photos that only included white demonstrators. Apparently rendering people of color invisible and voiceless is okay as long as it looks good for the Democrats.  What really seemed to be bothering the author of this account was a failure to grasp why protesters choose to target Obama instead of Mitt Romney.  Is this really hard to understand?  Occupy is not a branch of the Democratic Party and it is not an electioneering organization.  By protesting Obama, we are not telling people who to vote for or against.  Obama, in case these critics failed to notice, is still the President of the United States.  Obama, not Romney, just eviscerated the most fundamental rights of US citizens by signing NDAA.

If the last four years demonstrate anything, it is the evil of trusting "lesser evils."  Obama, like Clinton before him, has exploited the trust of hopeful liberals to push policies that would have created a firestorm of outrage if initiated by Bush.  Aside from its dedicated core, the anti-war movement almost evaporated after Obama was elected and countless lives were lost as a result.  Do the lives of people bombed by Democrats matter less than the lives of those bombed by Republicans?

The demonstration was called by Occupy Harlem and lead by Occupy Harlem.  Occupy Harlem, as many occupy movements across the country, was inspired by the resonating message of OWS for the 99% to challenge the US plutocracy in complete control of the US political process. We are an autonomous initiative of Harlem residents, initiated by and lead by people of color. We are deeply offended by Obama apologists who seek to belittle and denigrate the Occupy Harlem movement.  Whether Obama or Romney are elected president, we can be sure that the attacks on the poor and working people, on civil liberties and on global human rights will continue and so will our protests.  It is our right and responsibility to hold those in power accountable, not to serve as foot soldiers for the Democratic Party.

As for the white Occupy Wall Street participants in yesterday's demonstration, these attacks leave our allies in a "damned if they do, damned if they don't" dilemma.  If they avoid protesting Obama, they are portrayed as a Democratic Party front group.  If they support Occupy Harlem's protest at Obama's Apollo Fundraiser, they are portrayed as racially insensitive. These bogus accusations will not dampen nor alter the coalescing of solidarity between Occupy Harlem and OWS.  What's really going on here is that Democrats have figured out that the Occupy movement is not for them to manipulate and control!  (see for example

They'll praise Occupy so long as we attack their enemies. But when Occupy says that we will hold ALL corporate shill politicians accountable for selling out the 99%, they start getting nervous.  And when we protest Democratic politicians, they want to discredit us because we challenge the illusion that Democrats are the party of the people.  Obama apologists and strategists can't afford this because the Democratic Party needs the votes of progressives and people of color to keep their elected officials in office, even as those officials betray us in service to corporations at almost every turn -- in service to the 1% that really sets the agenda for both major parties.

Nellie Hester Bailey,
Occupy Harlem

Obama Greeted by Demonstrators Outside the Apollo Theater

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Emergency Demonstration at the Apollo Theater


Oppose Obama’s NDAA Police State & Resource Wars to Pillage the World

Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 6:00 PM
Where: Across the street from the Apollo Theater  253 West 125th Street
(Frederick Douglass Boulevard & Adam Clayton Powell Blvd)


On December 31, 2011 President Barack Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012 The Act authorizes $662 billion in funding for “the defense of the United States and its interests abroad". The bill grants power to the military to arrest U.S. citizens on American soil and detain them in military prisons indefinitely without right to legal counsel or even a trial. NDAA, a sweeping expansion of executive powers that goes far beyond the Bush administration. This law poses the greatest threat to "principles" of US democracy. Die heart Obama supporters bully, threaten and berate those who hold the President accountable for ANYTHING most of all his lies to and betrayal of the 99%!  The military industrial complex and Wall Street oligarchy owns lock, stock and barrel the US Presidency, Congress and both political parties, Democrat and Republican!  It’s not about the “lesser of two evils” but who is the more effective of the two evils! We have to ask ourselves, how do we hold any elected official accountable, most of all a President who has insisted the people hold him accountable!  Occupy Movements across the country are hitting the streets every day to confront and end the deadly reign of the 1%. Let's us do our job on January 19th. History will absolve us!!

We, the 99%, must hold this White House accountable for its numerous crimes against the 99% at home and abroad: an economic depression caused by gangster banks that received a 16 trillion dollar bailout under Obama; endless illegal resource wars; “shock and awe” military aggression; free trade agreements that kill jobs; deportation of one million immigrants; violation of international laws and human rights; global military expansion to dominate the world; depraved indifference to Mother Earth and continuation of a racist drug war that has given rise to the new Jim Crow mass incarceration.

Bring your issues, signs, & fellow 99ers!

Directions: Take the A, B, C or D trains to 125th Street and walk east or take the 2 or 3 trains to 125th Street and walk west.

Additional Info: (718) 218-4523 Email: occupyharlemgeneralassembly@gmail.comWeb:  http://tradejutice.net * http://harlemfightback.wordpress.comTwitter:https://twitter.com/#!/occupyharlemnow

Endorsers: Occupy Harlem, Harlem FightBack Against War at Home and Abroad, Black is Back Coalition, Occupy Wall Street Trade Justice, TradeJustice New York Metro, Occupy4Jobs, & Global Justice for Animals and the Environment.  Contactoccupyharlemgeneralassembly@gmail.com or ows@tradejustice.net to have your organization added to this list!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Obama to Occupy Protesters: YOU'RE THE REASON  I
Occupy Harlem to Obama: YOU DO NOT REPRESENT US!
Denounce Obama when he comes to Harlem's Apollo Theater to raise money for his $ one billion reelection!
When: Thursday, January 19th, 6:00PM
Where: across the street from the Apollo Theater, 253 West 125th Street between Frederick Douglass Boulevard and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd, Harlem, NYC.

Hold Obama accountable for his  lies;  illegal wars; free trade agreements that kill jobs, violate human rights, destroy family farms while expanding factory farms, damage the environment, endanger wildlife, and limit access to medications; privatization of public housing; 16 trillion dollars banks bailout;  complicity in the coup in Honduras; preventing access to emergency contraception for girls;  crackdown on undocumented immigrants; NDAA and other attacks on civil liberties; global military expansion; continuation of the racist drug war; use of torture, sabotaging climate talks; promoting offshore drilling; support for nuclear power and increased gas drilling;  scrapping stricter limits on smog; delisting wolves as a federal protected species;
waiver of Pelly amendment requirements for sanctions against Iceland for commercial whaling
 & and overturning the US ban on horse slaughter!

Bring signs on these and other issues where Obama has sold out!
Directions: Take the A, B, C or D trains to 125th Street and walk east or take the 2 or 3 trains to 125th Street and walk west.
Endorsers: Occupy Harlem, Harlem FightBack Against War at Home and Abroad, Black is Back Coalition, Occupy Wall Street Trade Justice, TradeJustice New York Metro, Occupy 4 Jobs, & Global Justice for Animals and the Environment.  Emailows@tradejustice.net to have your organization added to this list!

Why Protest Obama?
As a candidate, Obama manipulated the hopes of voters hoping for a candidate who would change the direction of our nation's trade policy with statements like "we can't keep passing unfair trade deals like NAFTA that put special interests over workers' interests." and "NAFTA's shortcomings were evident when signed and we must now amend the agreement to fix them." In November 2007, Obama said “The only trade agreements I believe in are ones that put workers first. Because trade deals aren’t good for the American people if they aren’t good for working people. That’s why I opposed CAFTA. That’s why I oppose the South Korea Free Trade Agreement.” In April of 2008 he expressed his opposition to the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement “because the violence against unions [there] would make a mockery of the very labor protections that we have insisted be included in these kinds of agreements.” As a candidate, Obama pledged to crack down on corporate tax havens. But in October 2011, Obama, after doing nothing to reform NAFTA , he instead send the Colombian and South Korea Free Trade Agreements to Congress, along with the Panama Free Trade Agreement, which locks in Panama's status as one of the world's worst tax havens, and then signed all three into law. Now he's pushing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 9 country free trade agreement that threatens US jobs, the environment, and access to generic medications.
But breaking his promises to fight for fairer trade policies and defend human rights in Colombia is only the beginning of Obama's betrayal of progressive values. From passing the National Defense Authorization Act to sabotaging the Durban Climate Change Conference to expanding offshore drilling after the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster to squandering the opportunity to pass single-payer healthcare, Obama has ramped up state repression and sold out the public interest to serve the interest of the corporations whose dollars he is depending on for his reelection
According to Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com, “He has slaughtered civilians — Muslim children by the dozens — not once or twice, but continuously in numerous nations with drones, cluster bombs and other forms of attack. He has sought to overturn a global ban on cluster bombs. He has institutionalized the power of Presidents — in secret and with no checks — to target American citizens for assassination-by-CIA, far from any battlefield. He has waged an unprecedented war against whistleblowers, the protection of which was once a liberal shibboleth. He rendered permanently irrelevant the War Powers Resolution, a crown jewel in the list of post-Vietnam liberal accomplishments, and thus enshrined the power of Presidents to wage war even in the face of a Congressional vote against it. His obsession with secrecy is so extreme that it has become darkly laughable in its manifestations, and he even worked to amend the Freedom of Information Act (another crown jewel of liberal legislative successes) when compliance became inconvenient.

He has entrenched for a generation the once-reviled, once-radical Bush/Cheney Terrorism powers of indefinite detention, military commissions, and the state secret privilege as a weapon to immunize political leaders from the rule of law. He has shielded Bush era criminals from every last form of accountability. He has vigorously prosecuted the cruel and supremely racist War on Drugs, including those parts he vowed during the campaign to relinquish — a war which devastates minority communities and encages and converts into felons huge numbers of minority youth for no good reason. He has empowered thieving bankers through the Wall Street bailout, Fed secrecy, efforts to shield mortgage defrauders from prosecution, and the appointment of an endless roster of former Goldman, Sachs executives and lobbyists. He’s brought the nation to a full-on Cold War and a covert hot war with Iran, on the brink of far greater hostilities. He has made the U.S. as subservient as ever to the destructive agenda of the right-wing Israeli government. His support for some of the Arab world’s most repressive regimes is as strong as ever.”

March from Saint John the Divine to Riverside Church

Religious leaders, artists, and members of the Occupy movement will unite globally on January 15th, 2012 to honor the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

At 6:30 p.m. hundreds of Occupy Wall Street activists will assemble on the steps of the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue, and at 7:00 p.m. begin a massive candlelight march to nearby Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive.

The group will join additional feeder marches and members of the community at Riverside Church for a candlelight vigil and celebration renewing King’s message of peace, justice, and equality for all, regardless of race or economic class.

The action will culminate in an assembly featuring performances and speak-outs from artists, celebrities, religious leaders, and activists. Performances by Patti Smith, Steve Earle, Stephan Said, and Kozza Olantunji, as well as many more, will complement the inspirational words of Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Yoko Ono, Russell Simmons, Reverend Stephen H. Phelps, Daisey Kahn, Norman Siegel, Sumumba Sobukwe and Malik Rhasaan.

“Poverty, an issue to which King showed increased focus in the years just before his death, finds its way into the darkest chapters in American History. Dr. King sought to shine a light of justice against those dark chapters of war, repression and racism, our candles symbolize that light,” says Abigail Keegan of Occupy Wall Street.

“These are revolutionary times. All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression and out of the wombs of a frail world new systems of justice and equality are being born. The shirtless and barefoot people of the land are rising up as never before. ‘The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light.’” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 4, 1967, at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City

Riverside Church has been an intersection of faith and social justice in the greater New York metropolitan area for over 80 years. At Riverside in 1967, Dr. King gave his historic “Beyond Vietnam” speech. On King’s birthday and in the spirit of his vision for racial and economic equality, peace, and non-violence, activists will return to Riverside in solidarity with others holding candlelight vigils from California to Cairo; New York to New Orleans; Germany to Nova Scotia, to unite our world in a global movement for systemic change.

The Riverside Church www.theriversidechurchny.org 
is an interracial, interdenominational and international church built by John D. Rockefeller Jr. in 1927. The 1,200-member Riverside Church in Morningside Heights has a rich tradition of providing a forum for important civic and spiritual leaders. Past speakers include: The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., President William J. Clinton, the Dalai Lama, Fidel Castro, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela.

This candlelight vigil kicks off more than 24 hours of Occupy Wall Street-organized events and actions including a march on Monday, Jan. 16th at 9 am from the African Burial Ground to the Federal Reserve Bank for a rally for economic justice.

For more information about the January 15th action visit http://j15global.org
"Speaking Truth To Empower."

Occupy Wall Street Joins Occupy The Dream: Is It Cooptation, or Growing the Movement?

Wed, 01/11/2012 - 13:51 — Glen Ford

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by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
The Occupy Wall Street movement has, to date, “been effective in warding off cooptation by Democratic Party fronts such as Rebuild The Dream and MoveOn.org.” But OWS’s recent alliance with Black clergy-based (and Russell Simmons-backed) Occupy The Dream raises serious questions in this election year. “It appears that Occupy Wall Street’s new Black affiliate is also in ‘lock-step’ with the corporate Democrat in the White House.”

Occupy Wall Street joins Occupy The Dream: Is It Cooptation, or Growing the Movement?
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
Is Obama to be absolved by clergymen wearing ‘Occupy’ buttons?
The Democratic Party may have entered the Occupy Wall Street movement through the “Black door,” in the form of Occupy The Dream, the Black ministers’ group led by former NAACP chief and Million Man March national director Dr. Benjamin Chavis and Baltimore mega-church pastor Rev. Jamal Bryant. Both are fervent supporters of President Obama.
Occupy The Dream’s National Steering Committee is made up entirely of clergy, as are its Members at Large, but its secular inspiration comes from media mogul (and credit cardpurveyor) Russell Simmons, who was a frequent visitor to Manhattan’s occupied Zuccotti Park. Simmons is co-chairman, with Dr. Chavis, of the Hip Hop Summit Action Network, whose website is now mainly dedicated to the Occupy The Dream project. It is through Simmons that the ministers hope to attract entertainers and athletes to Occupy The Dream events.
Occupy Wall Street organizer David DeGraw tied the knot with the Dream team at a Washington Press Club conference on December 14, invoking Dr. Martin Luther King’s Poor People’s campaign and the need to “penetrate deeper into the African American community.” Dr. Chavis said, “If Dr. King were alive today, he would be part of Occupy Wall Street,” andRev. Bryant, pastor of Baltimore’s 10,000-member Empowerment Temple AME Church, pledged that Occupy The Dream will work “in lock-step” with OWS. The OWS/OTD alliance would begin, they announced, with a multi-city action at Federal Reserve Bank offices on MLK Day, January 16.
The very next Sunday, Rev. Bryant was at his pulpit exhorting his congregation to get out the vote for the president.
Its secular inspiration comes from media mogul (and credit card purveyor) Russell Simmons.”
Dr. Chavis is also an active Obama booster. In his November 30 syndicated column for Black newspapers, titled “Brilliant First Lady Michelle Obama,” Chavis wrote:
As we are about to enter into the heated national political debates and campaigns of the 2012 national election year, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will be under intense pressures to maneuver through what may be one of the most difficult periods of time to maintain resilience and hope.
I am encouraged and optimistic, however, that President Obama will be reelected if millions of us do what we are supposed to do and that is go out and vote in record numbers 12 months from now.”
Chavis followed with an even more direct appeal:
All of us should be responding by lending a helping hand, giving of our time, energy and money, and to make our own contributions to push forward for more progress to ensure the reelection of President Barack Obama. Let’s determine the future by how we act today.”
It appears that Occupy Wall Street’s new Black affiliate is also in “lock-step” with the corporate Democrat in the White House, whose administration has funneled trillions of dollars to Wall Street and greatly expanded U.S. theaters of war.
The very next Sunday, Rev. Bryant was at his pulpit exhorting his congregation to get out the vote for the president.”
There is, however, a certain historical logic at work, here. Dr. Martin King’s Poor People’s Campaign, disrupted by his assassination, is seen by many as a prime inspiration for OWS. But of course, King’s persona and the whole saga of the Sixties has been methodically co-opted over the intervening decades, most directly by Black ministers claiming to be acting in furtherance of his “Dream” while selling their congregants’ votes to one or the other of the two Rich Men’s Parties. President Obama and his operatives have attempted to draw a straight line between Dr. King’s “Dream” and Obama’s own political ascent ever since his “coming home” speech at a Selma, Alabama, church in March of 2007, where the candidate assumed the mantle of Joshua and asserted that Blacks had already come “90 percent of the way” towards equality (with the transparent implication that his entrance to the White House would complete the process.)
Perhaps the most historically and politically corrupt poster of the 2008 campaign superimposed Obama’s head on Malcolm X’s body in the only known picture of Dr. King and Malcolm, shaking hands. So, there is nothing novel about labeling a 2012 Black church-based, pro-Obama electoral campaign as “Occupying the Dream.” Black ministers in campaign mode routinely depict Obama’s political troubles as indistinguishable from threats to “The Dream,” whose embodiment is ensconced in the White House. That’s simply common currency among Black preachers pushing for Obama.
President Obama and his operatives have attempted to draw a straight line between Dr. King’s ‘Dream’ and Obama’s own political ascent.”
Russell Simmons brings bling to the mix. As the Occupy The Dream website states: “Teaming up with entertainers such as Bon Jovi, Jay-Z, Bruce Springsteen, and Kanye West, Dr. Bryant encourages citizens of every race, color and creed to join Occupy the Dream.” Simmons is a genius at transforming social capital into the spendable kind – which is why he has been courting OWS so diligently. He is now fully “inside” the movement, flanked and buttressed by loyal Obama Black clergy.
It is highly unlikely – damn near inconceivable – that Occupy The Dream will do anything that might embarrass this president. Its ministers can be expected to electioneer for Obama at every opportunity. Their January 16 actions are directed at the Federal Reserve, which is technically independent from the executive branch of government – although, in practice, the Fed has been Obama’s principal mechanism for bailing out the banks. Will the ministers pretend, next Monday, that the president is somehow removed from the Fed’s massive transfers of the people’s credit and cash to Wall Street over the past three years? Is Obama to be absolved by clergymen wearing “Occupy” buttons?
Far from tamping their Obama fervor, the OWS brand equips the “Dream” ministers (and Simmons’ entertainment assets) to accomplish a special mission: to insulate the president from the Occupy movement and the national conversation on economic equality – or, better yet, to make him appear to be part of the solution. If they so choose.
Simmons is a genius at transforming social capital into the spendable kind – which is why he has been courting OWS so diligently.”
OWS has, to date, been effective in warding off cooptation by Democratic Party fronts such as Rebuild The Dream and MoveOn.org. But, it seems their antennas were not so finely attuned to the political structures of Black America: who the players are, and how the game is run. The Obama campaign may have found its niche on “the Black-hand side” of OWS.
At this late stage, there is no antidote to the potential cooptation, except to rev up the movement’s confrontation with the oligarchic powers-that-be – including Wall Street’s guy in the White House. Let’s see what happens if OWS demonstrators join with Occupy The Dream at Federal Reserve sites on January 16 carrying placards unequivocally implicating Obama in the Fed’s bailouts of the banksters, as Occupy demonstrators have done so often in the past. Will the Dream’s leadership be in “lock-step” with that? Maybe so – I’ve heard that miracles sometimes do happen.
In his December 30 newspaper column, Dr. Chavis offered these thoughts:
2012 will be a test for the United States. There will be a political test in terms of how millions of people will vote for the future. There will also be an economic test between the 99% and the 1% on the issues of income inequality and economic justice.”
We do, indeed, face a test in 2012: Will the Democratic Party be enabled to swallow up the Left – as it does every four years – including the fragile and tentative structures of the Occupy Wall Street movement? And, will the Democrats enter through the Black door?