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These protests are, by the very friction that they generate, forcing us to rethink the relationship that American citizens have with their government. The disproportionate police violence that is clearly being authorized and condoned is a reflection of how deeply these peaceful protests are threatening the status quo by exposing the systemic culture of corruption.

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On Friday, November 4, 2011, three #OccupyDC protesters were struck by a Lexus driven by Shawn Connolly Valentine, 38, of Clinton, MD. The driver was not cited or charged for what appeared to be deliberately driving into the protesters - however, the protesters were charged by the police. (Yes, you read that correctly).

Several nights later, the police held a press conference to defend their actions and their decisions. However, the police spokesperson arrived 20 minutes late, so the #occupy protesters took the stage and used the opportunity to tell their story to the media before the police arrived. 

This is the video of that impromptu press conference.

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What is up with policemen across the United States using motorcycles and cars as weapons against peaceful protesters? (And, um, didn’t we see condemn that sort of conduct in Tahrir Square and in Tiannenmen Square?)

What is up with policemen across the United States using motorcycles and cars as weapons against peaceful protesters?

(And, um, didn’t we see condemn that sort of conduct in Tahrir Square and in Tiannenmen Square?)

(And notice how all these protests happen in such-and-such Square or Park? The protests need to be public, to be visible, to reach an audience - perhaps not coincidentally, the protesters are being arrested for violations such as “marching without a permit,” or “camping in public after hours,” or … you get the picture. The cities across the United States seem to be doing their best to quietly sweep the #occupy protests under the rug, and the mainstream media is doing their best to be compliant)

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"#OWS is a tributary into a global river of discontent."

Nice take on #OWS from Bryce.vc, one of the co-founders of O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures. This reinforces the theme from a number of people active in emerging technology - Douglass Rushkoff, and Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures - that #OWS is more entrepreneurial and more flexible than the gigantic, corrupt entities which it is confronting.

(Source: bryce.vc)

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Denver cops turned on sprinklers at 2:30am to bother Occupyers. Temp in Denver? 27 degrees.

Sickening, juvenile conduct on the part of the cities across the United States. I love NYC more than words can ever express but I’m disgusted with Bloomberg and the NYPD.

SOURCE: http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_19148341

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Fuck yeah Naomi Wolf.

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There is a deplorable double standard in how the law is being applied. Anthony Bologna, the NYPD officer who was caught on video pepper-spraying innocent civilians at the #occupy protest, was given a slap on the wrist: he will lose 10 vacation days. (My cynical self suspects that even this is just for show - he will be “assigned” to a duty that he does not have to show up for, and while someone will initial that he showed up, no one will ever be wiser that he actually took his vacation).

It’s sick. Meanwhile, how many innocent protesters now have civil misdemeanors on their record, or have an arrest record for participating in a peaceful protest. Not to mention how many thousands of dollars of legal fees each had to incur as a result of police misconduct.

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Why Americans are increasingly turning to foreign coverage of the #occupy protests.

Earlier today, I posted a link from Russia Today’s excellent interview with author Daniel Hedges, who gave one of the most cogent summaries of how our democracy has slowly shifted into an oligarchy driven by the wealthy and the major corporations.

The irony is that during the Cold War, the U.S. told its citizens that we were superior because we had a free press, with no censorship, and that we were among the few nations on earth that wanted its citizens to be able to make fully-informed decisions. By contrast, the Russian media were largely state-controlled and controlled what information the citizens were exposed to. Now, in order to get coverage on the #occupy protests, American citizens are turning to Russian and foreign news sources. 

The media appears to have been actively minimizing the worldwide protests. If they are given any mention at all, it is a passing mention. If there is an image, it downplays the size of the protests. If there is a headline, it mocks the protest or makes it appear dull. If there is violence, the headline suggests (without actually saying so) that the protesters - not the police - incited the violence. And so on.

The protests are now approaching their second month. They have spread to well over 1,000 cities in almost 100 countries. And yet, in the American media, they are a non-story that does not warrant the same space as a football game or Lindsay Lohan’s teeth.