New York City
Some 500 of police officers, many in riot gear, descended on Manhattan's Zuccotti Park after midnight the night of Nov. 14, in a surprise sweep of the Occupy Wall Street encampment. Police handed out notices to occupiers ordering them to evacuate the park, supposedly to be allowed to return after a cleaning—but without their tents and equipment. Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office simultaneously Tweeted: "Occupants of Zuccotti should temporarily leave and remove tents and tarps. Protestors can return after the Park is cleared." Police began tearing up the tents and confiscating equipment at about 1:45 AM after throwing press out of the park. The books in the camp's library were thrown into the street. Blocks around the park were sealed off as supporters began converging on the scene from around the city. Occupiers initially resisted eviction, locking arms amid chants of "Whose park? Our park!" At least 70 were arrested, as a core group of about 100 dug in around the kitchen area in the middle of the park. There were unconfirmed reports of police using tear gas or pepper spray to dislodge these, at least some of whom apparently remained in the park as dawn approached.
For the first time since the 1999 Seattle protests, a movement in the United States is in the vanguard of global resistance to capital. But this time, the stakes are much higher. Now, from Europe to the Arab world to South America to Manhattan and Oakland, the planet seems headed into a revolutionary situation. Occupy Wall Street, which has brought the struggle to the very nerve-center of world capitalism, has responsibilities on a world scale. There are some things that it is very important that we get right.
On Oct. 15, the day of the global Occupy Wall Street protests, World War 4 Report editor Bill Weinberg produced the third Internet edition of the Moorish Orthodox Radio Crusade in the Lower East Side's Tompkins Square Park. While waiting to see if the OWS protesters would come down from their big rally at Times Square to gather in Tompkins Square, Bill discusses the history of civil unrest on the Lower East Side going all the way back to the 1850s. Later, when word arrives that the OWS protesters had instead gathered in Washington Square, Bill and cameraman Stephen Sherman head there for footage and interviews.
From The Villager, Oct. 13:
SUV driver arrested after assaulting pedestrian
An interaction between a driver and a pedestrian in the East Village turned violent Friday evening when the former chased the latter into the St. Mark’s Bookshop, grabbed her by the hair, tearing off one of her earrings, and put her in a headlock.
Taking a tip from the "indignados" who occupied downtown Madrid for several weeks over the summer, hundreds of protesters on Sept. 17 established an encampment in Lower Manhattan's Zuccotti Park—now renamed "Liberty Square"—just three blocks north of Wall Street, where they have remained since, despite rain and an intimidating round-the clock police presence. Wall Street itself, of course, is inaccessible behind police barricades. When protesters marched down to Wall on the morning of Monday the 19th to greet the arriving traders and office workers, police quickly moved in, arresting six and dispersing the rest. (NYT, Sept. 19)
Ten years after 9-11, there are many hopeful signs that the world is finally moving on from the dystopian dynamic unleashed by the attacks. As we pointed out after the killing of Osama bin Laden: Al-Qaeda has been utterly left behind by the Arab Spring, which has already overturned two authoritarian regimes (Tunisia and Egypt), with more almost certainly on the way. While there have been few and small Islamist protests over Osama's killing, basically secular and progressive protests against dictators are mounting throughout the Arab world, the greater Middle East and beyond. Al-Qaeda has been relegated to playing catch-up, hoping that continued terror attacks can transform the struggles in Yemen and Morocco from popular civil revolutions to jihadist civil wars. It hasn't been working. Alas, a brief review of the streets of downtown Manhattan on this day indicates how little these changes have extended to popular consciousness in New York CIty and the United States...
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has called for a federal investigation and Senate hearings into an Aug. 24 Associated Press report asserting that the CIA helped the New York Police Department (NYPD) in spying on the city's Musilm communities. CAIR said it suspects the intelligence gathering described in the report violates the US Constitution, and the US Privacy Act of 1974, which bars the CIA from domestic spying. The report claims undercover NYPD officers known as "rakers" were sent into Musilm neighborhoods to monitor bookstores and cafes, while informants known as "mosque crawlers" were used to monitor sermons.
World War 4 Report editor Bill Weinberg, exiled from New York's WBAI-FM for his political dissent, has launched the first Internet edition of the Moorish Orthodox Radio Crusade, for the moment on YouTube. Many thanks to Stephen and Emerson Euphoria Sherman for production. In this initial episode, Weinberg relates the story of the radio show since its founding by Peter Lamborn Wilson more than 20 years ago, and explores the esoteric history of Moorish Orthodoxy and its links to the anarchist tradition. Some of the edits are a bit jumpy, but we believe it is an impressive first effort. Please note the annotations below, and tell us what you think.