By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
The message of the protests in New York City and Washington, D.C. is that if you want property, private or public, take it. The anti-Wall Street demonstrators have taken over a private park in New York City and public property, Freedom Plaza and McPherson Square, in D.C. The reaction of the White House is that all of this is fine. After all, if you can take from the rich, why not take from the public.
The Republicans are now treating this lawlessness and anarchy as a serious and legitimate movement. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor had denounced the “mobs” occupying Wall Street and other cities across the country but on Fox News Sunday switched gears and talked about “a growing frustration out there across this country and it’s warranted.”
The website of the National Park Service says “Experience Your America,” alluding to the fact that such places are supposed to be open to the public. But if you try to “experience” Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C., which is under the jurisdiction of the Park Service, you will run into a filthy tent city in blatant violation of federal law forbidding tents and cooking facilities. In the words of professional agitator David Swanson, one of the organizers of this unsightly mess, “Freedom Plaza Is Now Ours.” Radicals in favor of “global revolution” have taken it over, with the approval of the White House. Their “rights” to public property have taken precedence over the lawful rights of the public to enjoy and experience the areas their tax dollars pay for.
At the dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial, Obama said, “If he were alive today, I believe he would remind us that the unemployed worker can rightly challenge the excesses of Wall Street without demonizing all who work there…” But the “unemployed” are not organizing these protests. I interviewed one organizer, Dennis Trainor, who has a job and makes a living doing videos of radical left activities around the country. A proponent of the view that capitalism is homicidal, he sees this as an opportunity to film the global revolution that they want to see unfold. He was a videographer for the Dennis Kucinich-for-president campaign. Another organizer of the “October 2011” movement is Kevin Zeese, who once made a name for himself as a leader of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. He has reinvented himself as a “peace activist.”
Another of the D.C. “Occupy” organizers, David Swanson, has a website devoted to his “writings” and wants people to believe he is a great thinker. His website is called “Let’s try democracy,” when in fact he is determined to take what is not his. This movement is based on theft of other peoples’ property. It fits perfectly into the Obama theme of taking from some to give to others.
In regard to the occupation of Freedom Plaza, Swanson declares:
“Our permit for Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC, expired, we refused to leave, and the Park Police has just proposed to let us stay for four more months. We’ve agreed. We have not said that when the four months are over and the American Spring is here we will leave.”
What’s more, the police, local and federal, are being told to ignore this lawlessness. The Washington Post reports that when the permit expired, the Park Police simply “issued an extension and amended the existing permit for the protesters at Freedom Plaza.” In the McPherson Square area, the protesters never even obtained a permit to have a demonstration but were nevertheless “granted concessions” and the authorities “will not interfere as long as the campers are not a nuisance.” The paper describes the Washington, D.C. city council, which has encouraged this illegal activity, as “progressive.”
“We have free food, we have free drink, we have free trainings and seminars, we have tents, we have peace keepers, we have a big victory under our belts, and we welcome all peace makers for they shall inherit Freedom Plaza,” says Swanson. ”We own it. It is ours. It shall remain ours, world without end.”
However, when protesters tried to disrupt the Hart Senate Office building, six of them were arrested by the U.S. Capitol Police and charged with unlawful conduct. It appears that the politicians will draw the line at disrupting their own space. One wonders if Obama would permit the demonstrators to “occupy” the White House.
It turns out that American taxpayers are underwriting the effort. If you click on the website of taxpayer-supported Pacifica radio, you find it under construction but “information that can’t wait” includes links to Adbusters, a group said to have originated the idea of the Wall Street protests, and live video coverage of the demonstrations. The latter takes you to a site called “Global Revolution.” Pacifica radio stations get millions of tax dollars from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
One of the key questions has been whether billionaire hedge fund operator George Soros, who should logically be a target of the demonstrators, is promoting the protests through the dozens of left-wing groups he finances. It has been difficult to establish a direct link, even though Soros himself has expressed sympathy with the protesters.
The fact that Soros, who is based in New York, has escaped the wrath of the protesters should tell us a lot. One also needs to look at individual members of the Soros-funded network, such as David Swanson himself. He was a speaker at the recent “Take Back the American Dream” conference sponsored by the Campaign for America’s Future, whose sister organization, the Institute for America’s Future, gets generous subsidies from Soros. He spoke about the upcoming “October 2011” movement in Washington, D.C. Needless to say, they won’t be targeting Soros for sit-ins and other actions.
Or consider Tracy Van Slyke, the director of something called the Media Consortium, a group of progressive publications and groups. Van Slyke is also on the board of a group called National People’s Action, which is part of the protests. The group’s policy director, Liz Ryan Murray, wrote an article for Dylan Ratigan’s on-line series titled “Get Money Out” of politics.
This is significant because Andrew Breitbart’s Big Journalism site has acquired a series of emails demonstrating that Ratigan, host of a political show on MSNBC, has been advising the “Occupy Wall Street” movement on its message and tactics. The purpose is to get as many dupes and clueless people into the movement as possible. You may recall that Ratigan had hosted author and cartoonist Ted Rall, who declared that he wants to “change the system entirely” and that a “revolt” was necessary. Ratigan had no problem with giving a platform to someone who seemed to be endorsing revolutionary violence.
Breitbart himself points out the evidence that the Communist Party USA and other communist, socialist and anarchist groups are supporting the Wall Street protests. Brandon Darby, once a left-wing radical himself, has written that the movement “is nothing less than a current manifestation of an international revolutionary push in which I myself used to play a significant role.” He knows some of the movers and shakers.
The situation is quickly getting out of control, thanks to President Obama, cowardly Republicans such as Eric Cantor, and media personalities such as Dylan Ratigan. A confrontation is inevitable because the protesters are refusing to move and the public is demanding access to the parks and public spaces they pay for. The day is coming when the police will be forced to move on protesters who promise to “resist.”
The day has already come for the marijuana movement, which thought that the election of Obama would usher in a utopia of freely available marijuana. The Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration have launched a massive crackdown on the dope industry, even closing down some “medical marijuana” facilities.
A confrontation over the Wall Street protests will undoubtedly mean higher ratings for the media, who will cry crocodile tears for the “people” resisting the police. But the real people who are law-abiding and watch this spectacle unfold will say that it’s about time that justice was done.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism, and can be contacted at [email protected].