The federal probe that resulted last night in the arrest of five purported anarchists for allegedly plotting to bomb an Ohio bridge began last year at an Occupy Wall Street rally in Cleveland that was infiltrated by an informant who was directed to attend the event by his FBI handlers.
It was at the October 21 OWS event that the informant first met Douglas Wright, 26, who reportedly confided details of his group’s planned attacks “against corporate America and the financial system,” according to court filings.
Pictured above, Wright eventually served as the informant’s bridge to the four other men busted in the bombing plot--despite the fact that the quartet was “unsure” about the snitch for whom Wright vouched. Of the five men arrested, four were involved in the Occupy Cleveland movement, according to their Facebook profiles, a news story, and a federal criminal complaint.
Other highlights, as it were, from the U.S. District Court records include:
A Washington-based ethics watchdog is calling on federal regulators to revoke News Corporation’s 27 Fox broadcast licences in the wake of the highly critical report on phone hacking from the UK parliament.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (Crew) has written to the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Julius Genachowski, calling on the regulator to pull the plug on Rupert Murdoch’s lucrative television licences on grounds of character.
The letter argues that the final report of the UK Commons culture, media and sport committee, which concluded that Murdoch was not fit to run a major international company, had implications for the US regulators that they had now to act upon.
Melanie Sloan, Crew’s director, said that the Murdochs had clearly failed the character test that is embedded within US media law as it is within British. “If they are not passing the character standard under British law, it seems to me that they are not going to meet the character standard in America.”
Richard Grenell, the openly-gay conservative foreign policy spokesperson hired by Mitt Romney, has resigned from the campaignfollowing right-wing pressure, the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin reports. “[M]y ability to speak clearly and forcefully on the issues has been greatly diminished by the hyper-partisan discussion of personal issues that sometimes comes from a presidential campaign,” Grenell said in a statement, which came less than two weeks after he was hired. Conservative groups like the American Family Foundation painted Grenell as a “homosexual activist” and condemned Romney for bringing him on board. From his statement:
Right-Wing Claims Obama’s New Campaign Slogan Reveals His Secret Communist And/Or Fascist Allegiances
One word; seven letters; so much nefarious hidden meaning. The Obama campaign’s new slogan, “Forward,” may seem like a typically oblique and anodyne piece of political branding — but thankfully, right-wing bloggers are here to reveal its true meaning, and predictably, it involves socialism and Hitler.
The president’s reelection campaign unveiled the slogan yesterday in lengthy new web video, and while the obvious subtext is that presumed GOP nominee Mitt Romney would take things backwards, there is so much more.
Breitbart.com’s Joel Pollak explained that the ‘Forward’ “borrows…from decades of communist iconography.” Pollak checks off a litany of scary historixcal world leaders whose lineage Obama is supposedly following, from Marx, Stalin, and Mao, to Benito Mussolini, to Thabo Mbeki, the former president of South Africa. “Communist leaders frequently used — and still use — the word ‘forward,’” he notes.
After a series of protest actions, activists and demonstrators from all over the country gathered in midtown Manhattan’s Bryant Park under the shadow of Bank of America Tower to mark the Occupy Wall Street movement’s May Day general strike. Remaining cognizant to May Day’s roots in a Chicago labor movement 130 years ago — though May 1st went global with International Workers’ Day — demonstrators nonetheless maintained a light spirit, singing, meditating, eating free food and discussing politics and policy. The morning events went down largely without incident, as organizers encouraged protesters to keep moving to avoid arrest. But later in the afternoon, reports and photographs of arrested protesters at a downtown action flooded Twitter.
Here are some photos from Bryant Park:
Protesters gathered last week outside the California home of Wells Fargo Chief Financial Officer Tim Sloan, where one homeowner was arrested while trying to deliver her mortgage payment directly to Sloan.
Ana Casas Wilson, a California homeowner who has cerebral palsy that forces her to use a motorized wheel chair, waited on Sloan’s front porch so she could hand him a payment on her foreclosed home. Casas Wilson has lived in her home for 27 years, but fell behind on her payments during a hospital stay. Wells Fargo, she said, has been unwilling to negotiate a modification, even though she is again able to make regular payments. After police allowed her to remain on Sloan’s porch for 15 minutes, she was arrested when she refused to leave, the Los Angeles Times reports:
Just before 8 p.m., about 90 minutes into the demonstration, police formed a line around the home, declared the assembly illegal and ordered the group to move 75 feet up the street.
Casas Wilson refused to go and was taken to San Marino police headquarters with the assistance of San Marino Fire Department paramedics.
Occupy Cleveland had Tuesday circled on the calendar. After months of low visibility, leaders of the protest organization formed during last fall's anti-Wall Street movement hoped to recapture the public's attention with a peaceful weekend festival leading up to a May Day demonstration.
By noon, they were back in the spotlight -- but not for the reasons they intended.
Five men involved in Occupy Cleveland stand accused of plotting to blow up a bridge over Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Sagamore Hills. The organization itself has not been implicated, but the arrests prompted organizers to cancel their May Day protest and instead spend the day distancing themselves from what they characterized as a fringe element.
A little over six months ago, Stephanie McGuinness was camping out in Zuccotti Park, the epicenter of a new movement that often shunned politicians and community groups and other bastions of the liberal "establishment."
On Tuesday, as thousands gathered for May Day rallies around the country,McGuinness stood in New York's Bryant Park, handing out literature and chatting up passersby in her new role as an intern for the bastion of the liberal establishment that is the broadcast network Democracy Now.
Occupy Wall Street activists are planning for a nationwide series of demonstrations billed as a "general strike" on Tuesday in what could be the biggest test of the movement's organizing muscle since the winter.
Touted as a "day without the 99 percent," and modeled in part on massive immigration reform protests in 2006, Occupy groups in New York, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay area, Chicago and more than 100 other cities will join forces with immigrant rights groups and labor unions. Organizers expect tens of thousands of supporters to swarm the streets in those cities on the anniversary of the traditional labor movement holiday.
"No work, no school ... don't bank, don't buy," posters for the day that have been circulating around New York say. But activists are mixed on whether they expect the day of action to result in large-scale walk-offs from work, and one of the most controversial actions, a proposal to block traffic over the Golden Gate Bridge, was called off over the weekend.
A taste of the upcoming feature documentary, Occupy Love. This is a community funded film. http://www.occupylove.org "Love is the felt experience of connection to another being. An economist says 'more for you is less for me.' But the lover knows that more of you is more for me too. If you love somebody their happiness is your happiness. Their pain is your pain. Your sense of self expands to include other beings. This shift of consciousness is universal in everybody, 99% and 1%." ~ Charles Eisenstein
Who knew at the beginning of campaign season that modest Connecticut, Rhode Island and Delaware and mighty New York and Pennsylvania would be key to Mitt Romney’s all but certain capture of the republican nomination for president? Now, let’s check out the Federal Prison facilities in these states. Pennsylvania’s got a bunch. Wouldn’t that be ironic, what with Santorum being from the Keystone state and all. There’s one in Danbury; New York has a few. It could happen. Nominee Romney, if his finances were thoroughly vetted, could wind up residing in any one of the three named states.
I’m not suggesting Romney’s a crook. I am suggesting we take a deep and penetrating look at his finances apropos of anyone seeking the highest office in the land.
There are enough red flags in his minimal release of just two years of tax returns to proceed with a full-bore inquiry of his finances. If Greg Palast is busy elsewhere, it won’t happen because we have no other investigative reporters (just as the corporatist media planned it).
Rush Limbaugh went after Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke again on Tuesday for what he called "coordinating" with President Obama to "scare students about the interest rates on their loans."
During his Tuesday radio show, Limbaugh read a tweet Fluke sent, which said, "#DontDoubleMyRate. Many students will see the interest rate on Fed #StudentLoans increase if Congress doesn't act by 7/1."
Hundreds of Occupy Wall Street demonstrators from across the country descended on San Francisco Tuesday in an attempt to crash banking giant Wells Fargo's annual shareholders meeting.
Several dozen people representing community groups had bought company stock and were allowed inside. Police said 24 people were arrested, including 15 for disrupting the meeting while inside the standing-room-only gathering of nearly 300 people.
Demonstrators outside the Merchant's Exchange Building in the city's bustling financial district waved signs and blocked the street while chanting, "We are the 99 percent! Let us in!"
Dozens of officers were stationed around the building in advance of the 1 p.m. meeting. Authorities said the demonstration saw only minor skirmishes between protesters and police.
Shareholder Erik Crew, 30, of Cincinnati, said he was arrested at the meeting shortly after one protester shouted that Wells Fargo should pay its fair share of corporate taxes. A group of women then said the bank should be ashamed of investing in private prisons and pleaded for a moratorium on home foreclosures, he said.