MEDIA ROOTS – On Thursday, November 17, 2011, Media Roots correspondent Felipe Messina spoke with Russia Today TV (RT) about the violent mass arrests by militarised platoons of local police, as they waged a coordinated national campaign to crush the Occupy Movement. He pointed out the Federalised character of the coordinated crackdowns against the Occupy Movement. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan had recently admitted in a radio interview that she was on a teleconference call with many other mayors across the country coordinating their crackdowns against the Occupy Movement.
Felipe Messina, Media Roots Correspondent, is interviewed in this RT segment.
RUSSIA TODAY – The latest demonstrations spanning the entire country come as the movement marks its two-month mark on November 17. What began as a small occupation of a small park near Wall Street turned into a nationwide movement, and soon after spread across the globe, from Toronto to Tokyo. Cities across the planet have embraced in the will to deliver a strong message of frustration with corporate greed, inequality and spreading poverty, while the very few people in control of this system impose their will.
Felipe Messina, a correspondent for the independent Media Roots news organization, believes police are purposely going beyond the call of duty to nip the protests in the bud.
“Clearly, what we are seeing here is the attempt to really crush the Occupy Wall Street movement,” he told RT. “Clearly, they’ve tried to hit the protests with the ‘shock and awe’ and tried to devastate them – that backfired. So now they are trying to find different pretexts.”
The correspondent points out that protesters have learnt from past mistakes, and the present tactics of peaceful demonstrations are proving to be effective.
“I think that in the United States, with the WTO battle in Seattle situations, the protesters have really learnt a lesson about non-violent direct action. And it’s really very effective,” he said.
“And Port of Oakland – it’s really sent a message to the political establishment that, you know, people are really seeing the two party dictatorship, and they are really fed up with it, and they are just not going to stand for it anymore.”
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On Tuesday (11/15), Mike Ellis of the Minneapolis Examiner reported:
“According to [one Justice Department] official, in several recent conference calls and briefings, local police agencies were advised to seek a legal reason to evict residents of tent cities, focusing on zoning laws and existing curfew rules. Agencies were also advised to demonstrate a massive show of police force, including large numbers in riot gear. In particular, the FBI reportedly advised on press relations, with one presentation suggesting that any moves to evict protesters be coordinated for a time when the press was the least likely to be present.”
By Wednesday (11/16) the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) worked on damage control claiming worries over Federal involvement in the crackdowns were overblown. Yet, DHS admitted taking an official role in at least one Portland, Oregon crackdown. And, of course, this admission may be attributable to the fact that DHS agents of the Federal Protective Service variety were photographed in action at Occupy Portland, Terry Schrunk Plaza, on October 31, 2011. So, it’s conceivable other DHS agents may have been involved elsewhere.
In conversation with RT, I described how in Oakland the ostensibly liberal Mayor Quan, initially tried to co-opt Occupy Oakland through photo-ops on October 15 with establishment activists of MoveOn. But faced with the horizontal principles of the Occupy Movement equalising Quan’s position of authority to genuine cooperation, feeling snubbed or assenting to pressure from above, gave the green light, before conveniently skipping town (in similar fashion to Obama’s trip to the Pacific Rim), to the militarised police state platoon raids and crackdowns.