August 9, 2012 : Mayor Tony Gets a Letter, NYPD Unveils DAS
Drivers heading toward Vegas this morning are shaken by two freaky billboards that may end up being attributed to Occupy Las Vegas. Police are called and quickly remove the boards, and their macabre attachments, which they say prompt a flood of 911 calls. Details at huffpost
Meanwhile, the so-called conservative blogosphere gets all over the Prez, pushing reports that feature declassified emails from the DHS to GSA Public Buildings Service Commissioner Robert Peck that indicate the White House approved the GSA using its “own approach” on protesters who were occupying near a GSA building in Portland's Terry Shrunk Plaza. It makes a great headline but a review of the emails shows they're, to quote a bard, much ado about nothing Examiner.com
In the same pub, writer Jamarl Thomas leaps to a spirited defense of Occupy Wall St, saying the group has electoral power that should not be downplayed. Thomas provides loads of statistics, and goes back to a 1964 conversation between Dr. Martin Luther King and then Prez Lyndon Baines Johnson in which LBJ tells the Civil Rights Leader “keep doing what you’re doing and make it possible for me to do the right thing.” It's similar to the tale of how Fellowship of the Reconciliation President AJ Muste, with other activists, approached FDR with a series of proposals and was told “it sounds like a great program, now go out there and make me do it.”
Thomas says Occupy is having the same impact on the current Prez, who doggedly sticks to the campaign message of “economic fairness” examiner.com
Legal grind :
Cases that charge Occupiers with trespass and other alleged misdeeds continue their grind through the courts. 4 members of Occupy Coachella Valley go on trial for public space infractions, in this case “suspicion of camping illegally.” mydesert.com
Occupy Honolulu turns the tables on local cops who confiscate their tents and other personal items, occupying the HPD's front lobby, then filing a theft report, claiming they want the “stolen” items back therepublic.com
NYPD's high-handed and harsh tactics against reporters and photographers have been documented here and elsewhere. Today Naomi Gillens, legal assistant at the ACLU, breaks out with a searing analysis of how NYPD enforcement of photography rules is nearly the opposite of what the law and First Amendment stipulate. Aclu.org
From the NYPD side, the privatization of space - that is, what used to be public space - moves forward. Word that Bloomy's private army has launched its latest surveillance system in tandem with software kings Microsoft, the newly christened Domain Awareness System (DAS). The system includes multiple public and private Closed Circuit TV cameras through-out the 5 boroughs that transmit and process information on license plates, cars, and other data with the ability to “extrapolate info on criminal and terrorism suspects from dozens of criminal databases ... all in near-real time.”
The technology will no doubt fortify the growing state-industry nexus that criminalizes those who exercise lawful first amendment rights in a age where authorities prefer to grant rights of assembly and speech, rather than abide by them Fastcompany.com
File Under: Here's a better idea, how about you just stay away...like the other 99.99 percent of the population? Internet psychos, sickos, and idiots who send out actual, bonafide public threats help to strengthen the NYPD's hand, as Twitter announces it will provide to NYPD user info for the hashtag threatening to commit Aurora-type violence at the (LaMotta-inspired) Broadway spectacle Mike Tyson : Undisputed Truth (video, above) nydailynews
Readers of this space will recall our letter to high school senior and occasional Occupy commentator Kathy Dong. So far, no response from Huffpost, but it's nice to see the letter format picked up by the industrious OpEdNews - who day after day slug it out with trenchant Occupy coverage.
Today, writer Federica Lorca addresses LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa directly, urging him to back off the heavy police presence at ArtWalk, saying “Tony, It's Just Chalk”
Lorca chronicles the history of how Occupy LA's relationship with City Hall went from good to bad to worse, mostly after city pols figured out they wouldn't be the Democratic version of the Tea Party, and offers Mayor Tony straight-forward advice :
“..admit you've overreacted, that your own City Attorney can't figure out how to prosecute the arrestees, and that free expression is better for the City and for democracy than police suppression of speech.” opednews
Finally, Olympic yacht coverage features regrettably low winds canceling today's 470 Medals Race, after which either Australia or GB is expected to mount the podium. Friday's forecast for racing looks better.
The US is officially out of the running, with skipper Anna Tunnicliffe left wiping her eyes after a disappointing finish, sure to prompt some deep soul-searching for US Sailing, which fails to medal for the first time since 1936.
U.S. Sailing President Gary Jobson, who spends a week watching the games before returning to Annapolis, Md., says as much, calling the failure to medal "a heck of a wake-up call.'' sportsillustrated.cnn.com
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