Portland Police arrested more than 50 people on Sunday as the authorities cleared out and blocked off encampments of the Occupy movement. Oakland and Portland remain the most volatile of the occupation encampments:
The group that left Wall Street to march to Washington is making progress. You can follow their trek at this link:
Has 60 Minutes joined the Occupation Movement? If not they did a great job of staying on message with a timely report on insider trading. The perpetrators? Congressional leaders who use inside information, gleaned from their positions of power, to profit from stock trades. This report is a must-see for anyone who wants to understand why Occupy Wall Street has grown so rapidly without a traditional “message” as recognized by mainstream media outlets.
“Schweizer: We know that during the healthcare debate people were trading healthcare stocks. We know that during the financial crisis of 2008 they were getting out of the market before the rest of America really knew what was going on.”
And remember they weren’t just getting out of the market, they were also short-selling sectors that were vulnerable to huge losses like the financial industry. When this occurs, when any stock trade takes place, the person with the inside information has a distinct advantage. When someone buys the shares sold by someone who knows of an imminent downturn, for instance, they have been victimized in a sense by the person who possessed knowledge they did not have access to when the trade was made.
The not-so-amazing thing about all this is that members of congress have also exempted themselves from the laws that pertain to trades made by others without that status. In any other context, this stuff is patently illegal. Watch the report by Steve Kroft and ask whether the Occupation Movement needs to convey a specific message that addresses all the different ways that the financial industry and congressional leaders collaborate to divest their constituents of their earnings and savings.
On the political aspirations of the Occupation Movement, these observations regarding that potential:
"’I don't see us endorsing candidates or trying to form a party,’ said Mark Bray, 29, a doctoral student in history at Rutgers University and a spokesman for Occupy Wall Street. Efforts to shift the movement in a partisan direction would be unlikely to be approved by the consensus process at the protesters' regular General Assembly meetings, he and other protesters say.”
"’There would be so many people who would balk at the endorsement of any party or candidate that I don't think it would happen,’ Bray said.”
“Not yet, at least.”
And as we move forward with plenty of obstacles and adversaries to impede that progress, it is important to note the following truism. Those groups or movements that have embraced violence are almost certain to fail, historically at least. When people seek change, regardless of the numbers, they are unlikely to support those who would resort to violent tactics to achieve them. Violence is almost certain to cause a backlash against a message which would otherwise be considered mainstream thinking:
"’For the past century, violence has almost always been counterproductive in American politics. The anti-Vietnam War and civil rights movements were strongest when they were faithful to their non-violent roots,’ says Maurice Isserman, a veteran of both efforts and co-author of America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s. Political analysts and historians — and many Occupy adherents — agree that violence usually eclipses a movement's message and alienates potential mainstream support.”
“We ask for investigative action, and support all concurrent efforts by Treasury and Justice to hold accountable those parties responsible for the massive losses incurred by their procedures and practices. Specifically those practices that used artificial valuation or false pretenses to profit from the losses they intended to incur on depositors or investors, those that entrusted their money with them or their institutions.”