Around 30 members of Code Pink and Veterans for Peace traveled to Pakistan to allegedly protest drone use by the US in the area. They were trying to join locals in a protest in South Waziristan.
Anyone see Jane Fonda analogies when you look at this? If you can’t make it through the whole going to a foreign country and speaking against our government thing, skip ahead to Medea Benjamin at around 2:50 where she says, “We want to be loved as Americans”. Because all that is needed for everyone to love us is for us just to love everyone.
Unfortunately (or fortunately for them) the government wouldn’t let them into South Waziristan.
The Taliban were there hoping to show them lots of love, threatening to bomb the protest:
On Saturday, a statement from a Taliban faction said to be based in Pakistan’s eastern Punjab province warned that militants would welcome the protesters with suicide bombings.
“We ask the brave people of Waziristan not to side with the gang of Jews and Christians – otherwise their fate will be terrible,” the Punjabi Taliban said in the statement.
My guess is that Medea Benjamin’s expressions of love really wouldn’t have stopped the Taliban from blowing her up.
Citizen Journalist ran a piece three days ago on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad allegedly planning a meeting with Occupy members during the time he is in NYC to speak at the United Nations.
The announcement, which was met by revulsion, even from some supporters of OWS, pushed some in OWS to take to the media to denounce it. ”Nobody in their right mind would meet with a fascist dictator like Ahmadenijad,” said Shawn Carrié, a longtime Occupy activist, in a direct message to Rosie Gray at Buzz Feed.
I was working with the group CODEPINK several years ago when Ahmadinejad came to [New York] and held a meeting to discuss global issues. I imagine this is the same. We have no idea who is organizing the meeting and how they came up with this story.
I’ve been trying to reach someone from Fars to ask them who they are talking about. Anyone going is doing so as an individual,” Balicki said. “There is no organized effort on behalf of OWS to meet with Ahmadinejad. This smells like a propaganda effort to me.
Except now we know at least one of the people that actually met with him was in fact an Occupier from Occupy DC, again according to Fars. Occupier Leah Bolger is also president of Veterans for Peace, one of the groups in the left anti-war coalition which also includes Code Pink. When queried for confirmation of the meeting, Ms. Bolger failed to respond.
Here is Leah with Occupy DC on Day 4 of their occupation
Fars printed a long statement from Ms. Bolger, speaking on behalf of Veterans for Peace, which basically translates to Israel and US want war, Iran is just an innocent. Of course, meeting with these people only serves Ahmadinejad. It is too bad they fail to realize they are just propaganda bait.
Apparently Mr. Carrié will have to have a conversation with Leah Bolger about the state of her mind.
Mr. Carrie may have to wait before talking with Leah Bolger. She is off to Pakistan with others of Veterans for Peace and Code Pink to protest drones. If one protests US use of drones, the logical place to protest would be here, as both groups have done. There is no reason to go to Pakistan other than being a propaganda puppet.
Except that in response, Dana Balicki then notes that she, as part of Code Pink (which is one of the groups involved with Occupy), did meet with Ahmadinejad ‘several years ago” (actually 2008).
“I was working with the group CODEPINK several years ago when Ahmadinejad came to [New York] and held a meeting to discuss global issues. I imagine this is the same. We have no idea who is organizing the meeting and how they came up with this story.”
“I’ve been trying to reach someone from Fars to ask them who they are talking about. Anyone going is doing so as an individual,” Balicki said. “There is no organized effort on behalf of OWS to meet with Ahmadinejad. This smells like a propaganda effort to me.”
As we noted in our prior report, Occupy members, most notably, Imam Musa, went to Iran for an Occupy conference over the winter.
They have also had a cosy relationship with Press TV, Iranian government TV, which has promoted them in its media. Press TV is state run, by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). Its headquarters are located in Tehran, Iran.
Yesterday, Press TV ran an interesting report talking about the alleged visit and alleged meeting with Ahmadinejad. We wouldn’t be linking to it, because we don’t like to link to propaganda, so if you’d like to see it, be our guest, we will quote the relevant parts.
Analysts see Iran as “just one example of the connection between OWS movement and the Middle East, which is based on a common enemy, the governments of the United States and Israel”.
This quoted part was taken straight out of our prior article, of course, excerpted and used for their own purposes.
Press TV then goes on:
Occupy protesters stormed an Israeli consulate in Boston on November 2011, waving Palestinian flags and shouting “Long Live the Intifadah!” and “not another nickel, not another dime! No more money for Israel’s crimes”.
Taken from our story, but adding the line “No more money for Israel’s crimes” (which Occupiers did in fact chant).
Participants made clear that they are not anti-Semites, but anti-Zionists, critical of the Israeli government’s current policies.
Well, now, no they didn’t. They never said any such thing. so we’re curious as to how Press TV came to this conclusion. But it makes them sound nicer, so I guess rewriting truth is Press TV’s inclination.
But it’s nice to know that Ahmadinejad can have “journalist” propagandists to help his agenda.
Press TV’s report was then picked up by another propaganda arm, RT (Russia Today) the Kremlin run media outfit. They ran the following, in pertinent part:
Iran’s Press-TV have also picked up the story and quotes unnamed analysts who say Iran is “just one example of the connection between OWS movement and the Middle East, which is based on a common enemy, the governments of the United States and Israel.”
We want to welcome Press TV to our readership. But when you steal our stuff, try to get it right. You may actually learn something.
There isn’t much that one can say about this one.
RNC -discussion of economy, foreign affairs, Obamacare, jobs. Code Pink – vaginas.
Dancing in the middle is head of the organization, Medea Benjamin. Looks like a CEO, right?
It’s a creepy catchy little ditty.
A Facebook post on the Occupy Tampa Facebook page has been burning up the social media lines.
According to Haaretz:
The cartoon, shown below, depicted a Jewish man with a big nose and large beard driving a car with the symbol of the United Nations as the wheel and U.S. President Barack Obama’s head as the stick shift.
On Holocaust Remembrance day, this cartoon was particularly offensive and engendered 400 comments in protest. “Putting this on Holocaust day just makes it even more sickening than it already is,” one user said. “This is an outrage. All OWS sympathizers must be disgusted by this vile act of hatred,” said another user. Despite the fact that most of the commentors were furious over the cartoon, 54 people “liked” the image.
Haaretz noted users who claimed the Occupy Tampa page was “not affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement”, that the movement has no official leadership so anyone can post under the “occupy” name. However, the Occupy Tampa Facebook page has more than 25,000 followers, and has been active since September 25, the beginning of the Occupy Wall Street protests.
All the occupations are technically “autonomous”, so each could disavow the other. Invariably, when there is a crime or something unpleasant done by an Occupier, the “official” word is that the actor is “not really an Occupier” or one cannot ascribe his actions to everyone else.
Much has been said about anti semitism in OWS already; it is usually met with “we cannot control what individual people say” or as with Occupy Tampa, it is not “official” part of OWS.
It is however important to understand there is a large anti-Israel component to OWS. For example, some of the founding boots on the ground for OWS – Code Pink, Worker’s World Party and Anonymous-all have made pro Palestinian, anti Israel pronouncements. While there is certainly a distinction that one can make between objecting to actions of a country-Israel-and being anti-semitic, these statements have sometimes crossed the line, and make one wonder.
In October in Melbourne, Occupy had a large protest, part of which marched on a mall against a chocolate shop owned by Jews, which Occupy said had somehow supported Israel. In the process of the march, one member ripped an Israeli flag out of the hands of a man silently protesting them on the side of the road.
In November, Occupy Boston, led by Code Pink and Communications Workers of America VP Dennis Trainor, led an “invasion” of the Israeli consulate in Boston. While short, the invasion chanted slogans such as, “Viva la Intifadah” and waved Palestinian flags.
Occupy DC protested the alleged influence of Israel by “Occupying AIPAC” during the AIPAC conference in March. This was posted in support by @Anon_Central, an anonymous twitter account that has also declared war on the US:
Historically, of course, pogroms against Jews would begin with cries against the evil “bankers” and their ability to control the world (translation: Jews controlling the world). So when the rhetoric is of the “evil banksters” controlling the world, it understandably makes some nervous.
Anonymous has actually declared war on Israel in the following video in quite virulent terms, vowing to destroy Israel in three steps:
When we asked @OccupyWallSt (as much of an “official” twitter account as you probably will get) about the above cartoon, they denounced it as hate speech, but did not respond when we asked if they would denounce Anonymous for declaring war in such terms on Israel. This declaration has taken the very real shape of online hacks against the Israeli government as well as hitting a variety of other Israeli websites, some with no relation to the government. However, that is just the “first step”. Anonymous promises two more steps, “suprises” for Israel.
Anonymous has also computer attacked various law enforcement agencies in defense of Occupy for alleged police brutality against them. The FBI has arrested several Anonymous members recently for some of these actions.
When you demonize a group of people, to the point of making up names about them-the 1%, “banksters”, “vampire squids”-you create an environment in which such sentiments can flourish. Why do you not succeed? Nazis told the people it was the evil money grubbing Jews, Occupy Wall Street tells you it’s the evil “banksters”.
Occupy appears to believe in collective guilt of the imagined evil 1%, yet not in collective responsiblity of their members who commit offensive acts. In so doing they engage in dangerous, divisive and harmful rhetoric. People need to call it out for what it is, to put a stop to it.
We heard from Sage about the “socializers” (anti capitalists) taking over(sage comment, that).
But while the “anti capitalists” have held sway over Occupy Wall St, others have since the beginning been trying to co-opt it.
The drama behind the scenes with all this would make old 80s soap operas look sophisticated by comparison.
Charles Young, who has been involved with Occupy, tells of attending the “99% Spring” training session organized by Move On.org and having the sudden revelation that it was run by the Democrats:
With hindsight gained by googling “MoveOn” and “co-opt” after the fact, I can’t claim that nobody tried to warn me. Many websites with left and even liberal politics had said in so many words, “Be wary of this organization called The 99% Spring. It is a Trojan horse for the Democrats.” I just didn’t read that anywhere in a timely fashion. I’ve had a lot of stuff on my plate lately. That’s my excuse. And in my ignorance, I responded to some spam about “nonviolent direct action training” organized by MoveOn and got invited to this 99% Spring thing on April 10 at the Goddard Riverside Community Center in Manhattan. Somebody even called me all the way from San Francisco to make sure I was a sincere seeker on the left and would be attending, along with 120,000 others in training sessions around the country.
Which I did. The meeting was a few blocks from where I live. The spam said it was “inspired by Occupy Wall Street.” I wasn’t sure what that meant, but I was vaguely hoping that whatever The 99% Spring was, it would start a chapter of Occupy Wall Street on the Upper West Side, conveniently near my abode, and agitate for the Democrats and MoveOn to move left.
The first clue that my evening might go otherwise was the sign-up table, where there were a bunch of Obama buttons for sale and one sign-up sheet for the oddly named Community Free Democrats (are they free of community?), which is the local Democratic clubhouse. That killed the “inspired by Occupy Wall Street” vibe right there. No piles of literature from a zillion different groups, as there had been in Zuccotti Park. No animated arguments among Marxists, anarchists, progressives, punks, engaged Buddhists, anti-war libertarians and what have you. Just Obama buttons, which didn’t appear to be selling.
A large man with long wavy hair combed back started the presentation with a stirring call for…the meeting to be off the record. He didn’t want any stories that would violate anyone’s privacy, and if there were any lurking journalists, they weren’t allowed to use any names and they must see him afterwards for further instruction on the ground rules. This struck an even more dysphoric note with the crowd than the Obama buttons.
WTF thought #1: This was a public event ostensibly to convince members of the public to engage in behavior that challenged the legitimacy of government authority in public and might cause angry police to beat the public crap out of them. Why would anyone risk that without trying to get publicity for their cause? Nonviolent direct action that no one knows about is like jerking off. It might make you feel better, but you’re not changing the world.
Notice Charles in his disturbance, says something quite striking here. The purpose of Occupy is not bailouts, money in politics or whatever was the initial “get” used to draw people. The purpose is to challenge the legitimacy of government authority. Get people in the streets, whatever the issue. Wall St, war, racism, Trayvon, autism, mental illness. Plumb the ranks of people who have an issue and try to bring them to the cause. Once you get them, then you can shape them through training: by marching and chanting together, you build a contingent that will do things that would not have done before.
But I digress, Charles was just discovering that someone else was working him:
WTF thought #5: The name of the large man with the wavy hair was Marc Landis. He is a District Leader for the Democrats, who were paying for use of the meeting room. He is running for City Council. According to his law firm’s website his areas of experience are: “Real Estate, Banking & Finance, Corporate & Business Law, Securities & Private Placement, Fund Formation & Investment Management Group…” His Facebook page, which is geared for his City Council campaign, makes it sound like his specialty is pro bono community work. I don’t know. He might be a nice guy, but it doesn’t take a lot of intuition to wonder if he’s really been finding a lot of inspiration in Occupy Wall Street. He’s a corporate lawyer. I can think of no reason for him to demand that the meeting be off the record other than he and his party don’t want to be publicly associated with anything radical, even it’s a pseudo-radical front group meant to steer people away from the truly radical Occupy Wall Street and into pointless activities that don’t embarrass Obama.
Next they showed a video that invited us “to tell our story” so that The 99% Spring could post us online along with hundreds of other people who had been foreclosed, bankrupted, lost their medical insurance or whatever. It appeared they all wanted to raise taxes, so that the rich would “pay their fair share.”
It was sanctimonious. It was supplicating before power. The audience looked like it wanted to puke.
And I said that the other thing I liked was that it was to the left of the Democratic Party and was pushing it from outside. There had been some mention of “the repeal of the Glass Steagall Act during the 90s” and I pointed out that it was Bill Clinton, a Democrat, who deregulated Wall Street.
“Excuse me,” said Landis. “We have a limited amount of time and a lot to discuss. We need to let everyone speak.”
I’ve thought about that a lot. I don’t believe I spoke for more than a minute, but I habitually obey the rules in a group, so I shut up. In retrospect, I was censored. I should have demanded a discussion of the true purpose of The 99% Spring and why Obama’s Department of Homeland Security orchestrated the violent destruction of hundreds of nonviolent Occupy camps around the country last fall.
As it was, we finished going around the circle. Everyone was a teacher or writer or connected with the labor movement. Wisconsin came up a few times. Landis asked what kind of a world we wanted to see. Someone said, “Socialism” and Landis said the topic for discussion was now how to plan for a “hypothetical direct action.” Every time somebody brought up something that was actually happening, Landis insisted that our agenda was set and we were only discussing hypothetical situations. So we talked about hypothetically withdrawing money from a hypothetical evil bank, or hypothetically stopping the hypothetical fracking in the Catskills that is going to poison New York City’s hypothetical drinking water.
“I heard that Occupy Wall Street was calling for a general strike. They’re planning actions all around midtown and they’re saying that nobody should go to work that day.”
“I don’t know anything about that,” said Landis. “We’re talking about hypothetical situations here.”
And so it went from 6:30 to 9:30 last Tuesday night. Over half the crowd left early. Most of those who stayed appeared to be angry and mystified that they had received no training whatever in nonviolent direct action.
Charles got a lesson, but not exactly the lesson he was expecting. Had he been more aware he would have recognized it in the nature of the organizations and people that were already running actions at Occupy Wall Street. New York Communities for Change and the Working Families Party have been and are actively involved in Occupy. They are the reconstituted ACORN which has close ties to Obama. http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/224610/inside-obamas-acorn/stanley-kurtz . MoveOn and Code Pink have also been involved, Code Pink since the beginning as one of the founding groups of Occupy, along with the Workers World Party and Anonymous.
As much as Charles believes he fled the co-option upon recognizing it, he still hasn’t quite figured it all out.
(The rest of Charles Young’s post may be read here: http://www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/1126)