LAPD gets the credit for the roundup, but the stories of abuse refer to treatment by the L.A. County Sheriff once protesters were in custody. These reports are consistent if not verifiable, that many arrestees were deprived of food, water and proper facilities which resulted in some soiled garments.
It is also rather obvious that 1400 LAPD cops were only part of the plan. Those arrested were essentially detained without cause. No charges filed, but their presence was eliminated and many were subjected to what could only be construed as punishment for their part in the protests and the occupation itself.
Many reports of missing property as well, so the movement suffered a significant setback when the mayor unilaterally decided to remove the protesters from the premises. It is starting to appear that the entire affair was intended to silence and punish, as opposed to enforcing any specific ordinance. Breaking up the encampments was part of the strategy meeting that 18 mayors conducted almost a month ago.
A sample of the blow back can be found here, blog post “Video Interview":
Here's more on the raid just prior:
Shah Gilani is a hedge fund manager, and a supporter of the Occupation Movement. Along with a significant percentage of others in his field, he sees the movement as an opportunity to address some specific, and conspicuous, flaws that continue to stifle economic growth and job creation as well as undermining future investment and returns.
“But if you're mad that Wall Street money has bought our Congress; if you're mad that there's an oligarchy of banker puppeteers pulling the strings of the U.S. Federal Reserve; if you're mad that Wall Street is hell-bent on toying with the stock market and turning the screws on fixed-income investors, parents, and retirees to expand their profit margins; and, if you are mad that 'too-big-to-fail' banks can wreck the economy and get bailed out, only to become bigger bullies while tens of millions of Americans lose their homes, jobs, and retirement savings, then I am solidly with you.”
So these are the goals I'd like for us all, as fed-up Americans, to undertake:
1. Break up too-big-to-fail banks so they aren't threatening our financial system.
2. Investigate failed banks for fraud, and indict and incarcerate guilty parties.
3. Scale banker bonuses progressively with long-vesting stock options.
4. Legislate pay claw-back provisions and criminal statutes for bad banker behavior.
5. Eliminate volatility-inducing high-frequency-trading and ETF program arbitrage.
6. Make all derivatives exchange traded, highly margined, and transparent.
7. Limit credit default swaps to two times the value of at-risk underlying credits.
8. Mandate exhaustive studies of the potential market impact of newly created financial products.
9. Create simple, effective, light-touch regulations with heavy criminal penalties.
10. Cap Wall Street's political contributions and make them transparent.
11. Audit the Federal Reserve and limit its lending to domestic banking institutions.
12. Give the Consumer Protection Finance Bureau (CPFB) criminal indictment powers,
including over the Federal Reserve.
13. Make Wall Street answer to the needs of Main Street, not the other way around.
This framework is a great starting point for a serious discussion about demands or a formal statement regarding principles. All of them are common sense proposals, all of them within the realm of practical solution. The Treasury Department recently asked Congress for increased powers to investigate and prosecute some of the fraudulent practices that have become a plague to the rest of the economy. If Congress doesn't grant that power, it wil be rather obvious they are only interested in preserving the status quo. But that has been demonstrated on many occasions in the past.
Protesters went to Norwalk yesterday to bring attention to the foreclosure crisis which is particularly acute in California. The situation is not getting better, fueled by unemployment, and exacerbated by problems bank are experiencing from toxic debts. Mario Brito, of course, was part of the Occupy Los Angeles group, and he was with the group that set up at the Norwalk site.
"An idea cannot be evicted and a movement cannot be imprisoned," said Occupy LA organizer, Mario Brito at a press conference. He said their movement will regroup and refocus on foreclosures .
"Banks, if you don't heed our call, expect to see our tents in your lobbies," he said