From:   Doug Singsen <>
Sent time:   Wednesday, November 02, 2011 9:56:47 AM
To:   september17 <>
Subject:   SPAM-MED: [september17discuss] Two articles on Democrats and the Occupy movement

These articles point out that almost all of the repression being directed against the occupations is coming from Democrats, including supposedly liberal ones, like Oakland's Mayor Quan.

We are all Oakland

The call for a general strike in Oakland to protest the savage police attack on Occupy protesters is linking the movement more closely with the organized working class.

November 2, 2011

THE SHOWDOWN in Oakland also makes it clear who the friends of the Occupy movement are--and are not. It's difficult to find a more liberal Democratic mayor than Jean Quan, a onetime community organizer. But when Democratic mayors began sending police to crack down on Occupy protests across the U.S. over the past several weeks, it was Quan who oversaw by far the harshest attack.

The repression in Oakland on October 25 included not just city cops in riot gear, but personnel from 17 different other law enforcement agencies. One of those cops fired a tear gas canister that struck Scott Olsen, a 24-year-old member of Veterans for Peace, in the head. When his comrades gathered around him to try to help, police fired a stun grenade into their midst. Eventually, protesters--not the police--carried Olsen to the hospital, where he has been ever since with a fractured skull and brain injury.

But this was only the most vicious example of a national drive to crush the Occupy movement. Democratic mayors in Chicago, Atlanta, Denver, Boston, Cincinnati, Nashville and other cities have also ordered police to arrest hundreds of Occupy activists.

With local governments pushing through relentless budget cuts and attacks on public-sector unions, the mayors fear--correctly--that the Occupy encampments could become centers of resistance to austerity.

When Democrats call in the cops

The mayors who are ordering crackdowns against Occupy protests and encampments are leaders of the "party of the people," writes Khury Petersen-Smith.

November 2, 2011


The popularity of Occupy has led some Democratic Party leaders to publicly sympathize with the movement.

Barack Obama spent the summer bargaining with Republicans over just how much austerity will be imposed in exchange for raising the government's debt ceiling--but now he claims to understand that "protesters are giving voice to a more broad-based frustration about how our financial system works."

Robby Mook, the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, even used Occupy in attempt to raise money for the 2012 elections. "Protesters," he wrote in an e-mail appeal, "are assembling in New York and around the country to let billionaires, big oil and big bankers know that we're not going to let the richest 1 percent force draconian economic policies and massive cuts to crucial programs on Main Street Americans."


Aside from Bloomberg, though, the mayors ordering the crackdowns against Occupy encampments are almost entirely Democrats--and not just from the mainstream, but some of the most liberal officeholders in the party.

Boston was the second city to launch an occupation, and the second city where Occupy faced police abuse along the lines of the crackdowns in New York, with 141 people arrested on October 11. The orders for mass arrests came from long-time Democratic Mayor Tom Menino. In Chicago, some 300 Occupy supporters have been arrested trying to establish a stable encampment as other cities have--but they've been stopped by a city administration led by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who before this was Barack Obama's chief of staff.

And, of course, in Oakland--where the most savage police violence yet against Occupy protesters took place--the mayor is Jean Quan, considered one of the most liberal mayors anywhere in the country.

All these cities are in states that are Democratic strongholds, with the "party of the people" controlling the governor's mansion. But in cities in more conservative states, it's still Democrats overseeing the repression of the Occupy movement.

Such is the case in Atlanta under Mayor Kasim Reed, where 52 protesters were arrested October 26; in Nashville, Tenn., where Mayor Karl Dean's police attacked occupiers last weekend; and in Denver under Mayor Michael Hancock, where the cops also attacked the Occupy movement over the weekend.

This is ironic, because in city after city, when the Occupy movement has faced restrictions the right to free speech and violent attacks by police, the orders for repression have come almost exclusively from Robby Mook's colleagues in the Democratic Party.