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.
Here is more video from the #S17 protest on the anniversary of the start of Occupy Wall St a year ago September 17.
This group of marchers was made up of mostly Hispanic self-identified Maoists. One was was wearing a pro-Palestinian scarf with little Che buttons on it. He noted that most of the pro-Palestinian people with whom he was familiar were also pro-communist.
Although it is not always reported on, many in Occupy are pro-Palestinian, anti-US involvement in the Middle East.
As they chanted, they seemed oblivious to the concept that most Americans would have no idea what they were talking about, and would in fact step back from such classist terminology. It is not clear that these people, at best in their twenties, really understood what happened the last time marching groups waved around that little red book, the flags and millions died.
Video by Billy O’Keefe @DefendWallSt
In the following video, shot at the RNC, you can see Occupiers assailing delegates who are walking by, slinging verbal insults at them and giving them the finger.
There is also the following exchange ~:44.
One occupier screams, “We are the coming insurrection,” as he bounces up and down.
“Prepare for the civil war, jacka**es,” screams another who was seen giving obscene gestures earlier in the video.
“I’ll be going in your houses,” he adds. Then having a moment of recognition that what he said might be a problem, he turns to the cameraman and says, “Don’t put that on camera”.
Followers may recognize the person threatening civil war and “going in your houses”. It is Nkrumah Tinsley, also known as “Joseph”, who was arrested for threatening to “burn NYC to the m–f–in’ ground” in November. He also was reportedly arrested in October 2011 for assault on a police officer. See more here. At last report, the terrroristic threat case was still open against Tinsley, pending a psychiatric review.
Tinsley was at the NATO protests in May and at both the RNC and DNC protests. He was at the anniversary celebration yesterday.
One wonders how he continues to be able to get to all these protests, how he continues to make threats and if the NYPD are aware of his actions elsewhere.
Occupier arrested in rape, attempted murder of fellow Occupier, also charged in rape of 14 year old girl
Occupier Jackie Barcliff, 44, was arrested Friday, after turning himself in, after being sought in a brutal rape this past week.
The 56-year-old female victim was forced to go with her attacker to a section of the Pier 15 park overlooking the East River, raped and then thrown over a 20 foot high second-story railing. She suffered a broken pelvis and other serious injuries. She was found about 2 a.m. Monday morning. Her pants and underwear had been removed,
After he turned himself in, Barcliff was also charged with raping a 14 year old girl on August 12 after offering her a place to stay for the night. He now faces two charges of first degree rape and an attempted murder charge.
According to ABC local news, an Occupy press spokesperson says it’s a terrible incident that should be investigated thoroughly and handled fairly.
According to a lengthy police statement, quoted in the Village Voice, Barcliff, who has been a regular fixture at OWS protests, was previously arrested in December 2011 at Zuccotti Park for assault, resisting arrest and trying to escape. He got sentenced to 200 days in jail, a district attorney spokesperson said. Barcliff was held on Rikers Island four times over the past two years, including 120 days on the resisting arrest conviction starting on Feb. 24. He was released on June 25.
In the following video, taken in November 2011, you can see Barcliff around 2:30 engaging and goading police, ultimately getting arrested at around10:30. Occupiers shout “Shame, Shame” at police for arresting him. One protester yells, “This isn’t Hitler, this isn’t Germany.” Then, people start yelling, “The whole world is watching.”
At the beginning of the summer, OWS began the “Summer Disobedience School” which was supposed to be a 12 week series of classes, culminating on September 17, or “graduation day”, the one year anniversary of the start of OWS.
What was the purpose of this “school”? They’ve stopped trying to hide the anti-capitalist nature of what they are about. In their video description, they cite the aim:
What is capitalism? Where is capitalism? Who and what sustains it? How can we starve its roots, which feed off our relations to one another to the detriment of humanity? What alternatives can we create together? These are a few of the questions we will explore in OWS Summer Disobedience School (OWSDS), a twelve-week training program that will empower us to map, target, and disrupt sites of capitalist injustice across the city with a wide range of creative tactics accessible to people will all levels of experience.
They’re desperate for numbers so part of the process requires that occupiers can help indoctrinate others. Can we say cult, people?
A key priority in the OWSDS curriculum is the empowerment of new people to step up in planning and executing actions; to this end, OWSDS will involve a mentoring system in which those with more experience can “buddy up” with less experienced individuals to lend moral support and technical guidance. This “training of trainers” process can in turn be replicated and innovated by increasing numbers of people across time and space. Students will be encouraged to develop personal escalation calendars to track their own progress over the course of Summer School in advance of Graduation Day: September 17th, the one-year anniversary of OWS.
They have so few folks left that on September 17, they are asking that everyone come to NYC from across the country to buttress the numbers there, for three days of talks, lectures and direct actions.
So now here is their discussion/ad about the Summer Disobedience School and what they plan for September 17. And yes, that’s really them, and they really did this.
Occupy Wall Street has been working with students at Paul Robeson High School in Brooklyn, NY, for months. This effort to reach out to students was mostly through Justin Wedes, a disgraced former teacher, who resigned for his teaching position in the wake of a grant money scandal. During this time, some of the students were encouraged to walk out on classes to be involved with May Day protests and to protest against various issues at the school. Wedes finally managed to do enough to irritate the principal of the school who apparently asked him to leave the property at one point.
Wedes then came up with the concept of a “summer school”, the “Paul Robeson Freedom School”, not on the Paul Robeson property, but at St John the Evangelist Lutheran School on Maujer Street in Brooklyn. The “school” is open to 10-14 year olds from Brooklyn, according to Wedes, who noted they will focus lessons on discussing the civil rights movement, feminism, LGBTQ rights, universal healthcare and other topics of “social justice”, as well as providing tutoring, lessons in urban gardening and local food, and weekly family nights.
LAST week, on a gloriously breezy Brooklyn evening, Justin Wedes and Rodney Deas, two original members of the Occupy Wall Street movement, were cooking burgers on a charcoal grill in the courtyard of their latest project — an unsanctioned, unofficial Occupy Wall Street summer camp.
The camp, which runs through Aug. 24 at a redbrick former schoolhouse on Maujer Street in Williamsburg, was only three days old, and fellow Occupiers, swept up in the pioneering spirit, had been coming by in droves to lend a hand. A few guys from Occupy Tech Ops had spent the afternoon tweaking the old computers and hooking up the Ethernet connection, and an Occupy artist had silk-screened 20 T-shirts (with a book-and-raised-fist logo) to serve as camp uniforms. Occupy librarians were finishing the reading room, and some Occupy farmers were discussing how to bring in provisions. A tattooed video jockey from Occupy TV was milling about, recording it all on a Sony hand-held camera.
The only thing missing at that point were the campers. By Wednesday, there were three.
“The joke is we’ve been getting one a day,” said Mr. Wedes, who is 26 and a veteran of the food committee at Zuccotti Park. “I figure, at this rate, in another couple weeks we’ll actually have a camp.”
You could blame the slow start on any number of issues: a nonexistent advertising budget (zero dollars out of a $300 operating account); a lack of sufficiently radical activities (no shoot-the-banker archery, say, or color war with flexi-cuffs); or a cultural predilection for horizontal planning.(How fast would a top-down Tea Party camp be up and running?)
Mr. Wedes (pronounced WEE-dis) said the delay was merely a function of grass-roots community work. “We’re starting here from nothing,” he said, “and building up. It’s a process.”
I know, every line is like some kind of love letter to Occupy. What parent in their right mind would let their kids near one of these events much less a ‘ Summer camp’? Let’s ignore that kids have been left alone with rats, abandoned, flashed, intimidated, arrestedand used as human shields by Occupiers. Are people who incite riots, destroy public property, rack up 41 million in damages nationwide and who can’t seem to pick a single focus topic to protest about on any given day really who you want your kids around? Uh, that’s a HELL NO.
Read more here.