Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to meet with Occupy Wall Street in NYC (Updated with OWS response)
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be in New York City to address the General Assembly of the United Nations on September 25. He has regularly addressed the General Assembly once a year for the last seven years. He represents the 120-nation Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) as its rotating President. His purpose in addition to the speech is to focus on “connecting to mainstream Americans including those who are part of the Occupy Wall Street movement”, according to The Hindu, quoting Fars, the Iran News Agency. He plans on meeting with members of OWS as well as other “students, artists and intellectuals”. He also plans on reaching out to the public through interviews with CBS, CNN and Russia Today (RT). The delegation, guarded by 150 security personnel, will stay in Manhattan’s Warwick hotel, Fars News Agency is reporting.
Iran is just one example of the connection between Occupy/Anonymous and the Middle East, the confluence of some of the left in the US and the Muslim world, a connection which is based on a common enemy, the governments of the United States and Israel. Many elements in Occupy are anti Israel, pro Palestinian for example, like Code Pink. Occupy actually invaded the Israeli consulate in Boston in November 2011, waving Palestinian flags and shouting “Long Live the Intifadah!” The narrator in the video is Occupy and Code Pink member Dennis Trainor, who is also the VP of the Communication Workers of America (CWA) one of the biggest unions in the country.
More on the relationship between Occupy and Israel here.
Iranian government TV, Press TV, has long promoted Occupy in its media as an indication of the general public rising up against the evil US government. In February, there was an Occupy conference held in Iran which Occupy representatives from the United States attended. Attendees included college professors and an Imam from Washington DC. This support was interesting, given the support Occupy and Anonymous lent to the Green Movement, protesting the government in Iran and the election of Ahmadinejad. But Occupy still serves the purpose, in Iran’s mind, of being disruptive to the US governmental entities.
Here is one video from that event:
Since then however, Occupy has lost steam and media, and Press TV, realizing Occupy doesn’t have the numbers or the effectiveness it was hoping for, hasn’t pumped it as much.
Ahmadinejad’s visit also comes at a time when hackers, alleged to be connected with Iran, have been cyber attacking the Bank of America, Chase and the NYSE this week as revenge against the US for sanctions, using the anti-Islam video as a cover. According to some sources, these attacks have been happening since 2011. Those with Occupy/Anonymous connections also appear involved in the recent attacks on the financial organizations.
OWS is now backing off this claim of a meeting. Buzz Feed, in an article by Rosie Gray, who has covered OWS at some length, ran the following statement from one of its members.
“Nobody in their right mind would meet with a fascist dictator like Ahmadenijad,” said Shawn Carrié, a longtime Occupy activist, in a direct message. “I think it’s been blown way out of proportion. There were some emails floating around on listservs about going to *protest* his appearance.”
“Anyway, it must be stressed that no one speaks for OWS,” Carrié said. “Any moron can go say they’re gonna go do something, but to say OWS meets with Ahmadinejad? That’s just ridiculous.”
Well, then he needs to take that up with the Iranian government, since this is part of their official press release of the trip. According to Fars,
Ahmadinejad is also set to meet American university students, artists, intellectuals and elites, including Occupy Wall Street anti-capitalist protestors, despite the ongoing efforts made by the pro-Zionist lobbies to prevent direct link between American people and the Iranian president.
No one speaks for OWS (except apparently Mr. Carrié). The problem with his response is that it doesn’t appear to explain the cosy position that Occupy has had with the Iranian govt news agency, Press TV, or any of the other information we noted above. Moreover, his response is interesting in that everyone in OWS can disclaim any action by another as saying “it’s not an officially approved action” as we have seen in multiple OWS cases, despite the fact of Occupy involvement.
For example, the San Francisco Mission district violence of two nights ago. Organized by Occupiers, sent out over Occupy hashtags, Occupiers participating, on Occupy livestream. But because it might have blow back, “not an Occupy event”.
We shall wait to hear more, and continue to investigate if anyone meets with him or they have backed off.
A 45 year old Occupy Member was raped and thrown off of a 20 foot railing near the South Street Seaport on Monday.
Charles Barron isn’t taking the loss well.
He lost badly to Hakeem Jeffries in the 8th district Congressional Democratic primary race, which is primarily Brooklyn. Jeffries, who was endorsed by party leaders, got 71.9 percent of the vote. Barron, endorsed by the unions and outgoing Congress member Ed Towns, received 28.1 percent of the vote, which translated to about 10,000 votes.
In part, the election was a bit of a test of the strength of the unions, the local union DC-37 and parent AFSCME, who objected to Jeffries’s pro-charter-school stand.
But also included in the mix was Barron’s long history of making incendiary remarks, everything from calling Thomas Jefferson a pedophile to making remarks about Jews and gay people, as well as supporting dictators. He has spoken of wanting revolution and fighting capitalism, noting that he does not want Obama to do anything to fix the economy, since that would only prolong capitalism. He has called Israel a “terrorist state”, and been endorsed by David Duke. He supported OWS including an action to take a man’s home, that was characterized as “taking a home back from the banks”.
See more background here.
His severe loss did nothing to gag his venom. He denounced the media as “really lowlife scum” and he refused to concede defeat.
“At the risk of sounding like a sore loser, honesty compels me to say there will be no congratulatory statement to the opposition tonight, only because of the way the campaign was run,” Barron was quoted as saying by the New York Daily News.
“We had them scared from the very beginning,” Barron claimed. “There’s something bigger than politics and that’s a movement. A movement of the people. We have that here tonight. When we launched this campaign, we knew we were going up against…the entire New York Democratic political leadership.”
While Jeffries espouses support such things as charter schools, he also had the support of the Working Families Party(rebranded ACORN).
Over the past two weeks, there have been six locations in the Portland, Oregon area as well as locations in Connecticut and NYC that have received envelopes containing suspicious white powder.
In Portland , two different locations received letters on Thursday. The first letter was sent to Portland State University at the Market Center building near Southwest 4th Avenue and Market Street. The second scare took place at the Oregon Health & Science University in the Marquam Plaza Building at 2525 Southwest 3rd. On Wednesday, two white powder incidents were reported. One occurred at the Hilton Hotel in Downtown Portland, the second occurred at a Port of Portland building near the Portland International Airport. On Tuesday there was a scare at the Lloyd Center mall on Tuesday and there was an intial incident at the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse on April 26.
In all of the Portland cases, the envelopes were addressed to human resources offices and “anthrax” written either directly on the envelope or in a two-page letter in the envelope. Evacuations and hazmat teams were called out to address the scares, and several people who had contact with the letters were quarantined. No anthrax was found in any of the cases.
Referencing the Portland cases, FBI spokeswoman Beth Anne Steele issued a press release today stating “the FBI and its local partners believe they have stopped the sender or senders’ ability to continue this stream of threats.” They have not as yet clarified what that means, or whether there may have been an arrest.
“White powder” scares have also been currently occurring at locations in Connecticut.
The Rowland State Government Center in Waterbury and the Ruth Chaffee School in Newington were evacuated on Thursday. Keeny Street Elementary in Manchester was also locked down. All are closed today, pending an investigation. The powder in the Manchester school was accompanied by a letter mentioning Al Qaida.
A spate of “white powder” letters were sent to several banks in NYC on April 30, saying “Happy May Day”, seemingly referencing May Day protests.
No one was injured in any of the incidents and no anthrax was found. There is no indication at present whether these incidents are related.
Occupy worked very hard to get people out for May 1, trying to establish connections with immigrant groups and community advocacy organizations.
What is not often mentioned is the effort that they have been making to reach into high schools to influence students.
A major person behind this effort in NYC is Justin Wedes, a former high school teacher. Wedes abruptly quit his job as a city public school teacher after getting caught red-handed falsifying time sheets, according to the New York Post. Former South Brooklyn Community HS science teacher Justin Wedes, who often rails against corporate greed and corruption, “cut and pasted’’ the signature of a supervisor onto his time sheets while applying for a national education grant, Special Schools Commissioner of Investigation Richard Condon found.
In this first video, you see the results of months of Wedes and others cultivating students at Paul Robeson High School in NYC. Occupy members have had meetings at the school to talk with the kids and influence them. It’s also a bit ironic that it is “Paul Robeson High School”. Robeson, a remarkably multi-faceted man, was an amazing singer, incredibly bright, lawyer and civil rights activist. He was also an infamous supporter of Soviet Communism.
Notice the effort to demonize “privatization”. Why would the kids have an issue with it? Because the union has a problem with it. Charter schools in NY have been largely successful and provide a viable option for children from poorer communities. Kids and parents line up to get into those schools. It’s called competition and it improves education. That’s just a bit frightening to the unions, who want to have a monopoly to be continue to provide that sterling education they have been providing-not. Think of it this way, kids, if you were forced to only eat in the cafeteria, and chose from the lousy food provided, wouldn’t you want to have the option of food outside those restrictions?
Beyond the very specific approach to reach out to certain schools in NYC, was the general effort to gets kids out for May 1 by making it “cool”. Organizer Marisa “I’m not for reform, I’m for revolution” Holmes actually made a video, noting that you could leave school, and “do whatever you want to do”.
Who wouldn’t want to go to what appears to be a holiday party? In this second video, the kids have heard the pitch, but have no idea even why they are there, apart from the fact it seems fun. The girl with the anarchy symbol on her face could as well been at a St Patrick’s Day Parade and it have been a shamrock. Notice the requisite event tee shirt-souvenir-looks like capitalism to me.
See video here
If you wonder how we get the Justin Wedes and Marisa Holmes types, the effort to recruit has been going on for a very long time.
Via the Daily Mail:
Almost a million images of New York and its municipal operations have been made public for the first time on the internet.
The city’s Department of Records officially announced the debut of the photo database.
Culled from the Municipal Archives collection of more than 2.2 million images going back to the mid-1800s, the 870,000 photographs feature all manner of city oversight — from stately ports and bridges to grisly gangland killings.
Unfortunately, due to the great demand, the site has been deleted for the moment. But this photo and several more can be found at the Daily Mail site:
No really, Occupy Wall Street finds a bat and discusses what to do with it.
Seriously, bats in NY are likely full of disease.
For the third night, Occupy beds down on the street at Broad and Wall Street.
Having been evicted and prevented from sleeping in the various parks, OWS has taken to sleeping on the sidewalk. Numbers have varied between 15 and 30 people.
The first night, they slept on cardboard. Tonight they have moved in furniture, including chairs and a futon.
One might wonder, why they are allowed to sleep on the street?
While there is case law, most notably Metro Council vs. Safir, which allows sleeping as part of an organized, limited protest, if said protest is disorganized, not limited in space, or likely to cause disruption to the public or public sidewalk, it may not fall within a legally permissible range.
There appeared very little “protest”, apart from some signs on sidewalk, but a lot of disorganization and fair amount of items strewn over a significant part of the sidewalk.