"The formerly vacant building at 75 River St. is being repurposed by an autonomous group, in solidarity with Occupy Santa Cruz. Formerly a big bank, it was bought out by Wells Fargo. Subsequently, the building closed, and has remained vacant for nearly three years. Today this group has, without breaking & entering, taken the building with intentions of using the space in a productive way that benefits the community of Santa Cruz . The property will no longer be left open by big development companies as a sign of the economic despair in this county, but will rather be used to enrich and teach the local community.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
The Repurposing of 75 River St.
Santa Cruz, CA, U.S.A.- November 30, 2011.
The formerly vacant building at 75 River St. is being repurposed by an autonomous group, in solidarity with Occupy Santa Cruz. Formerly a big bank, it was bought out by Wells Fargo. Subsequently, the building closed, and has remained vacant for nearly three years. Today this group has, without breaking & entering, taken the building with intentions of using the space in a productive way that benefits the community of Santa Cruz . The property will no longer be left open by big development companies as a sign of the economic despair in this county, but will rather be used to enrich and teach the local community.
While the middle class quickly falls toward the poverty line, the big banks and the extremely wealthy continue to get rich at the expense of all. Across the United States 1.05 million properties were seized by banks in the year 2010. In Santa Cruz County alone 1,594 homes were auctioned off between November 2010 and October 2011. The foreclosed and vacant buildings in this country serve as a reminder of the ever-growing gap between the ‘rich’ and the ‘poor’. As people are left without shelter and social space due to foreclosures and a declining economy; big banks and developing companies buy out space to simply leave empty.
An existing time-honored U.S. and California law allows for the transfer of a property title when a property is occupied and taken care of by an alternative party for an extended period of time. This law is called adverse possession. The law was born out of the belief that society’s best interests are met when land and property are utilized productively rather than sitting vacant. Today, the building at 75 River St. has been adversely possessed. No longer will the property exist only as an empty parking lot and a vacant building with a sign re-directing people to Wells Fargo across the street. It will be repurposed and used to benefit the community instead of Cassidy Turley, the large-scale commercial real estate company currently leasing the building, and Wells Fargo bank.
Instead of an empty space, there will be a space for community teach-ins, an open library, and discussion forums. The space will be offered to Occupy Santa Cruz as an opportunity to have a roof over its head and allow for more organization to take place. The space will be safe, non-violent, non-destructive and welcoming. The building will be a forum for individuals in the community to learn from one another, and help the Occupy movement grow.
There is a hope to see community support for the reclamation of property and space from the very wealthy, the 1%, back into the hands and benefit of the community.
This action was not decided on by the General Assembly of Occupy Santa Cruz. This press release is not from the Occupy Santa Cruz media team.”~(Indybay)
"The nationally coordinated, brutal police attacks on the Occupy Movement were supported by the 1%, and now we will strike back with our own coordinated attack on the 1% - a West Coast Port blockade and shutdown on December 12th in order to economically disrupt “wall street on the waterfront.”
When we say “Wall street on the waterfront” we point particularly to EGT and Goldman Sachs. The West Coast Ports will be blockaded on December 12th in solidairty with longshoremen and port truckers struggles against EGT and Goldman Sachs.
EGT is an multinational grain exporter consortium. Bunge Ltd is the largest partner in ETG who reported 2.5 billion dollars in profit last year alone and has direct ties to Wall Street and has caused economic despair in countries such as Argentina, Brazil, and now the United States. EGT has been rupturing ILWU jurisdiction in Longview, Washington and bringing in scab labor.
We will blockade all the ports on the West Coast in solidarity with the Longshoremen in Longview in their struggle against EGT. We are also blockading the ports in solidarity with the struggle of port truckers against Goldman Sachs. The blockade is also intended to disrupt the profits of the 1% by showing solidarity with those who are under direct attack – exerting the collective muscle of the west coast occupies.
Goldman Sachs owns a large part of the SSA port terminals and is guilty of facilitating the exploitation of non-union and short-run, port truck drivers who have struggled for dignified and humane conditions in the workplace for several years now. These independent truck drivers are majority immigrant workers who are pitted against each other, and receive low wages and unreliable hours while Goldman Sachs, the shipping companies and their underlings reap record profits.
EGT and Goldman Sachs are the 1%. The Occupy movement is committed to shutting down the one percent and is using its collective political power in order to confront the 1% with mass mobilizations that shut down sites of profit.
The giant retail shipping, trucking and global logistics corporations like Wal-Mart, Maersk and Goldman Sachs’ own SSA Marine cooked up a scheme to stick it to America’s port truck drivers long before Wall Street’s greed uprooted Main Street’s middle class. As Salon.comrecently exposed, lax oversight and little regulation has created a shadowy industry that denies drivers their legal right to form a union.
U.S. ports have thus become economic engines for the elite; the 1% these trade hubs serve are free to rip the shirts off the backs of the 99% who turn their profits.
As part of the planned demonstrations, we are committed to exposing these systematic injustices. We pledge both our solidarity and ongoing support to the truck drivers who are uniting to win dignity, respect, and control over their work.
"Los Angeles police were moving into the Civic Center Tuesday night, closing off a large area around the Occupy L.A. encampment.
The LAPD has closed off an area from Temple Street on the north to 3rd Street on the south and Alameda Street on the east and Broadway on the west.
An LAPD helicopter announced the commencement of the department’s action, swooping down low and incessantly circling the City Hall steps on which hundreds of protesters had gathered. It flooded the camp with light from its high-powered search light and the din from its propellers threatened to drown out a chant of “occupy LA, all day, all night!” by the protesters.
Officials also issued a citywide tactical alert. Los Angeles police have not said when they will evict the protesters. An LAPD email alert said the tactical alert was “due to unusual occurrence in downtown L.A.” The LAPD was beginning to put up traffic barriers along streets around City Hall.
Several people reported seeing large numbers of police cars driving into Dodger Stadium, where officers were apparently gathering.
Some activists placed trash and recycling bins to block the main entrance to the lawn, saying they saw the barrier as some level of protection against the expected eviction.
The LAPD set a Monday morning deadline for the protesters to leave.
At a meeting of demonstrators Tuesday evening, organizers said that it was “very probable” that some kind of raid will occur Tuesday. They did not reveal the source of the information.
An excited man ran through the camp screaming “the cops are coming from the northeast side! The cops are coming!” His Paul Revere-like sprint set the camp ablaze with nervous talking.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said he decided that it was time to evict Occupy L.A. protesters from the City Hall lawn after learning that there were children staying there.
Given the smattering of assaults and other incidents reported at the camp, “the chaos out there could produce something awful,” he said in an interview with The Times.
The mayor, a former union organizer and president of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said he and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck jointly made the decision to allow overnight camping on the lawn in hopes of charting a “different path” with protesters. That was, he said, in part because he respects many of their views.”~Read More: LATimes
"Creating limited media pools at high-profile, heavily policed events isn’t an uncommon practice at the Los Angeles Police Department.
"When we don’t have resources to accomodate every single outlet that wants to be there, we often do that," says Officer Karen Rayner in the media-relations office.
But a last-minute email to the LAPD’s press list last night — saying “any outlet interested in being considered for the [Occupy L.A. eviction] pool must have a representative attend this meeting, no exceptions” — has raised some concerns among smaller-time reporters covering Occupy L.A.
(And in the case of Occupy Wall Street, the bloggers and freelancers are often the only ones getting the story right.)
We’ve contacted Lieutenant Andy Neiman, who heads media relations, for a full list of this year’s “pool media” events. But they’re usually big trials like Dr. Conrad Murray’s or O.J. Simpson’s, and other scenes where the police might have trouble keeping crowds at bay.
The pending Occupy L.A. eviction is a trickier beast. Police in other cities are under close scrutiny for their individual treatment of occupiers, and though the LAPD has proven a gentle giant so far (at the mayor’s bidding, no doubt), their precise actions at the upcoming eviction are of great importance to Occupy Wall Street observers all over the world…
Update No. 3: Here are your official media messengers, as selected by the LAPD.
Dakota Smith, LA Daily News
Shelby Grad, Los Angeles Times
Steve Gorman, Reuters
Photographers Rob St. John, Los Angeles Times Sam Mircovich, Reuters Tracy Gitnick, Associated Press
Television FOX11 NBC4 ABC7 KPCC
Radio Claudia Peschiuta, KNX 1070 Steve Gregory, KFI”~Read More: LAWeekly
"The chants of University of California (UC) students disrupted the UC Board of Regents teleconference meeting today at UCLA and other UC campuses, forcing board members to relocate to different meeting rooms. About 60 students from several campuses gathered in UCLA’s Bruin Plaza to listen to the broadcasted teleconference and, of course, to protest.
The teleconference, which was postponed earlier this month due to threats of significant violence and vandalism, was conducted by UCLA, UC Davis, UC Merced and UC San Francisco-Mission Bay. Board of Regents chairman Sherry Lansing and UC President Mark Yudof commenced the meeting by advocating free speech and criticizing the use of force at UC Davis.
Security was high at all campuses for the meeting, and the largest group of regents - 10 board members and 4 chancellors - gathered at UCLA. A public comment period was scheduled to allow students to speak their minds and was extended to one hour due to the overflow of voices. During this time, student protesters “vocally disrupted” the meeting at multiple locations, according to UCLA Newsroom. L.A. Now noted that “student speakers expressed deep frustration over rising tuition costs and the recent pepper spraying of nonviolent protesters at UC Davis by campus police.”
After the regents relocated to another room at UCLA, approximately 20 students, who dubbed themselves “The People’s Regents,” stayed in the original meeting room “discussing issues such as tuition, chanting protest messages and negotiating with UCLA student affairs representatives,” reports UCLA Newsroom.
One UCLA grad student, Whitney Richards-Calathes, stood outside the site of the meeting since approximately midnight. She told the UCLA Newsroom, “Seeing several police in riot gear here has created a visual that is incredibly symbolic of what has become of the system. Our aim is to be heard while being nonviolent and peaceful, but what are their intentions?”
Today’s meeting wrapped before 2pm with an approved proposal to request additional state funding for the 10-campus system in order to avoid yet another tuition bump in 2012. Yudof also announced that a university task force will review an investigation of the November 18 pepper spray incident at UC Davis. Former L.A. Police Chief William Bratton will lead the investigation.
UCLA Chancellor Gene Block has permitted The People’s Regents to remain in their meeting room until 6pm today.”~LAist
"Though there is no solid deadline for the Occupy LA eviction, there is chatter that a couple upcoming commercial and/or television video shoots may force the remaining occupiers out as early as today.
Says a recent tweet by Alissa Kokkins, “A parking attendant claims that the police intend to have Occupy LA out by 12 today because a film shoot is coming in.” Kokkins broadcasted live video from the eviction throughout the night and into this morning.
Coyote Films is slated to start filming “Jaguar” on Tuesday, November 29 at 4pm at Main Street between 1st and 2nd Streets. City Hall’s address is 200 North Spring Street. A prep date has not been announced, but we’re assuming it’s today.
Additionally, Twentieth Century Fox Television will start filming “The Finder” at 202 West 1st Street this Thursday and will begin setup on Tuesday at 6am.
11:40 AM “Gangster Squad,” a film starring Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling, is scheduled to shoot at City Hall on Tuesday, November 29. A tipster shared email correspondence with LAist detailing some of the prep planning involving Occupy LA. The film’s Warner Brothers location manager asked Occupy LA on November 20 to relocate the Porta-Potties north of the Spring Street steps and south of the Main Street entrance. Occupy LA agreed to move the restrooms and asked that the production company cover the fee. The production did not immediately reply, but as of today, the Porta-Potty relocation request has been revoked.
Bonus tip: Both Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling - known supporters of Occupy LA - are rumored to be visiting Occupy LA tonight.
3:20 PMFilmL.A. has confirmed that the “Gangster Squad” shoot at City Hall has been pushed to the week of December 5. The reason behind the schedule change is confidential, but the assumption can be made that the production company postponed the shoot to avoid conflicts with Occupy LA.”~LAist
"Protesters plan to file for a federal injunction that would prevent police from dismantling the Occupy L.A. encampment around City Hall.
The complaint, which was to be filed at 10 a.m. Monday in federal court, names the city of Los Angeles, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, alleging that the protesters’ civil rights were violated. The three protesters who planned to file the suit would be seeking a court order to prevent the city from evicting the camp from the City Hall lawn.
The complaint accuses the city of engaging in “arbitrary and capricious action in violation of the 1st and 14th Amendments by first approving the Occupy presence for 56 days before suddenly revoking permission through the unilateral action of defendants.”
Chief Deputy City Atty. William Carter said the city attorney’s office was reviewing the complaint and was ready to respond or appear if necessary.
Carter said the city was prepared to file three declarations in opposition to a restraining order. One is from a Los Angeles Police Department officer relating to enforcement of the city ordinance that bans people from being in parks overnight.
The protesters’ complaint points out that the City Council passed a resolution of support for the protesters and states that an aide to Villaraigosa told two of the plaintiffs, protester Mario Brito and Jim Lafferty of the National Lawyers Guild, that the municipal code section prohibiting overnight camping in city parks would not be enforced.”~Read More: LATimes
"November 28th – In solidarity with UC Davis , UC Berkeley, CUNY Schools and all students who are defending their right to protest against rising tuition cost and out of control student debt. We ask you to STRIKE! No work, no school – please join together in a central area of your choosing and stand up against the VIOLENCE and SUPPRESSION that is happening in our schools.
Please abide by the Pledge of Non-Violence to Participate in the Student Strike:
We are an open, participatory, democratic, horizontal, peaceful, and nonviolent movement.
We are not a leaderless movement, we are a movement of leaders.
As a nonviolent movement, we have agreed to refrain from violence against any person, from carrying weapons, and from destruction of property.
We reject violence, including property destruction, because we recognize that it undermines popular support and discourages the broadest possible participation among the 99%.
We believe nonviolence promotes unity, strength of message, and an environment in which everyone’s voice might be heard.
"Just after midnight, a large crowd of Occupy L.A. protesters gathered in front of City Hall at the intersection of Spring and First streets.
Demonstrators held candles, beat on drums, waved signs as they moved onto the streets. “This ain’t Mardi Gras!” one man shouted, as he attempted to usher people off the street.
LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith declined to give details about police strategy or tactics that would use to evict protestors. He said notices or citations would not be handed out, but rather that people would be arrested.
"We will not discuss what our timetable is or what our tactics are," he said.
For now, Smith said the group appeared peaceful, but that after midnight they would be in violation of the law. Hundreds of people have been camped out at City Hall Park for the past seven weeks to protest what they see as economic injustice.
"We will be out here until they are done occupying," Smith said.
Meanwhile, protesters on the street continued to chant, “This is what democracy looks like!” and “Occupy Wall Street! Occupy Los Angeles! Occupy Everything! And never give it back.”
But organizers encouraged protesters to move back to the park and not provoke the police. “~LATimes
"Occupy Los Angeles is currently awaiting a 12:01 Am deadline to be evicted. Word has it they may give until morning. Here are the list of Ustream channels occupiers will be broadcasting from, please share this page!
"This movement is bigger than this dead grass."~Jim Lafferty (director of the National Lawyers Guild of Los Angeles) Photo: LATimes
”Protestors at Occupy Los Angeles have known that its days at City Hall were numbered for some time, but the mayor’s office confirmed this afternoon that the eviction is coming next week — possibly as early as Monday.
The city has not given the exact hour or day but it told LA Weekly that this will be the last week for protestors at the City Hall encampment. Unlike other cities, Los Angeles will give protestors 72 hours notice to clear their things.
It’s not clear what will happen to the protest or whether it will move. Negotiations broke down between the city and the protestors. Two liaisons from the protest Mario Brito and Jim Lafferty walked out of negotiations this afternoon when the mayor’s office told them of its plans. The liaisons complained the city was not negotiating in good faith.
Already, lawyers and other supporters are giving protestors advice on how to deal with the eviction. They warn protestors to get rid of their weed and not to go limp if they’re being arrested, because that could be considered “resisting arrest.”
The liaisons also added that city officials promised not to use pepper spray on protestors. We’re guessing the city is trying to learn from the mistakes of other cities and a certain UC campus — but maybe the city is really just worried about how pepper spray might ruin the lawn.”~Laist
Contact your officials and tell them you support Occupy Los Angeles. Tell them you don’t want Occupy LA evicted, you want them to meet with us (all of us) to discuss changes that will make the lives of Los Angeles citizens better.
Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa
If you don’t know what to say, here is what I said.
I am a registered voter of Los Angeles County and I support Occupy Los Angeles. I don’t want them evicted. I want to see changes in how the voters live. I am the 99% and I will never give up.
"There were growing signs Tuesday that city officials were moving to bring the Occupy L.A. encampment to an end.
Los Angeles officials have given Occupy LA protesters a Nov. 28 deadline to get off the City Hall lawn, according to protesters who have been in negotiations with the city.
At a meeting on the west steps of City Hall Tuesday afternoon, the negotiators told their fellow protesters that they have asked for an extension of that deadline as they decide how to respond to the city’s recent proposal to give them a work space in a city-owned building nearby.
Neither L.A. officials near Los Angeles Police Department commanders could immediately confirm the deadline. A top LAPD source said there were no immient plans to remove people from the camp.
According to Scott Shuster, a protester who said he has been present in all of the meetings with the city, city officials on Tuesday backed down from their proposal for work space, blaming political difficulties within City Hall. He and others said officials said those difficulties include getting the necessary permission from various agencies and possible pushback by council members.
City Councilwoman Jan Perry’s downtown district takes in the Los Angeles Mall, a city-owned shopping center adjacent to City Hall where protesters said they were offered work space by city officials. On Tuesday, she said had not been approached about the proposal by the city officials in charge of the negotiations, who include representatives from the mayor’s office.
“I have not been approached,” she said. “I have not been contacted about it.”
She also said she had not complained about not being asked, and said she would refrain from commenting on the matter until a formal proposal was made.”~LATimes
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — “A California university placed two of its police officers on administrative leave Sunday because of their involvement in the pepper spraying of passively sitting protesters, while the school’s chancellor accelerated a task force’s investigation into the incident amid calls for her resignation.
The president of the 10-campus University of California system also weighed in on the growing fallout from Friday’s incident at UC Davis, saying that he is “appalled” at images of students being doused with pepper spray and plans a far-reaching, urgent assessment of law enforcement procedures on all campuses.
"I implore students who wish to demonstrate to do so in a peaceful and lawful fashion. I expect campus authorities to honor that right," UC President Mark G. Yudof said. All 10 chancellors would convene soon for a discussion "about how to ensure proportional law enforcement response to non-violent protest," he said.
Officials at UC Davis refused to identify the two officers who were place on administrative leave but one was a veteran of many years on the force and other “fairly new” to the department, the school’s Police Chief Annette Spicuzza told The Associated Press. She would not elaborate further because of the pending probe.
Videos posted online of the incident clearly show one riot-gear clad officer dousing the line of protesters with spray as they sit in a line with their arms intertwined. Spicuzza told the AP that the second officer was identified during an intense review of several videos.
"We really wanted to be diligent in our research, and during our viewing of multiple videos we discovered the second officer," Spicuzza said. "This is the right thing to do."
Both officers were trained in the use of pepper spray as department policy dictates, and both had been sprayed with it themselves during training, the chief noted.”~AP/Yahoo
CLGC’s memo (above) proposes that the ABA pay CLGC $850,000 to conduct “opposition research” on Occupy Wall Street in order to construct “negative narratives” about the protests and allied politicians.
The memo also asserts that Democratic victories in 2012 would be detrimental for Wall Street and targets specific races in which it says Wall Street would benefit by electing Republicans instead.
According to the memo, if Democrats embrace OWS, “This would mean more than just short-term political discomfort for Wall Street. … It has the potential to have very long-lasting political, policy and financial impacts on the companies in the center of the bullseye.”
The CLGC memo raises another issue that it says should be of concern to the financial industry — that OWS might find common cause with the Tea Party.
The University of California, Davis said on Saturday it would launch an investigation over video footage that appeared to show campus police using pepper spray against seated student protesters at close range.
YouTube video footage of a policeman in riot gear using pepper spray on a group of roughly a dozen student protesters in the university’s quad area spread quickly over the Internet, sparking outrage among some university faculty members.
“Yesterday was not a day that would make anyone on our campus proud,” UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi wrote in a public statement.
“As indicated in various videos, the police used pepper spray against the students who were blocking the way,” she said. “The use of pepper spray as shown on the video is chilling to us all and raises many questions about how best to handle situations like this.”
Student protesters at Davis had set up an encampment in the university’s quad area earlier this month as part of the nationwide Occupy movement against economic inequality and excesses of the financial system.
Their demonstrations, which had been endorsed by a faculty association, included protests against tuition increases and what they viewed as police brutality on University of California campuses in response to recent protests.
The students had set up roughly 25 tents in a quad area, but they had been asked not to stay overnight and were told they would not be able to stay during the weekend, due to a lack of university resources, Katehi said.
Some protesters took their tents down voluntarily while others stayed. The pepper spray incident appeared to take place on Friday afternoon, when campus police moved in to forcibly evict the protesters.
Katehi said on Friday she was “saddened” by the manner in which protesters were removed from the quad, and on Saturday announced a task force of faculty, students and staff to investigate the incident.
D0X: UC Davis Pepper Spraying officer, Lt. John Pike. Please be respectful in your condemnation of this act of brutality.
Lieutenant John Pike Records Unit Manager Phone: 530-752-3989 Cell: 530-979-0184 email@example.com Address: 4005 Cowell Blvd, Apt 616. Davis, CA 95618-6017 Skype: japike3 LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/john-pike/18/a76/879 Pike has received 2 Meritorious Service Awards from UC Davis
File formal complaint against UC Davis police officer here: (pdf)
UC Davis Support Services Division Contact Information: Captain Joyce Souza 530-752-6202 Monday - Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM firstname.lastname@example.org
Reporting a Crime or Accident UC Davis Police Non-Emergency Service (530) 752-1727
UC Office of the President Mark G. Yudof University of California 1111 Franklin St., 12th Floor Oakland, CA 94607 Email: email@example.com
Professor at the university, Nathan Brown, wrote an “open letter” calling on Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi to resign. The entire letter boldly condemns the Chancellor for permitting riot police to handle students as police did. (source)
His boss, UCD Police Chief Annette Spicuzza, told the Davis Enterprise that she’s “very proud” of her officers. “I don’t believe any of our officers were hurt,” she says, “and I hope none of the students were injured.” (source)
California Penal Code Section 12403.7 (a) (8) (g) Any person who uses tear gas or tear gas weapons except in self-defense is guilty of a public offense and is punishable byimprisonment in a state prison for 16 months, or two or three years or in a county jail not to exceed one year or by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment, except that, if the use is against a peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2, engaged in the performance of his or her official duties and the person committing the offense knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a peace officer, the offense is punishable by imprisonment in a state prison for 16 months or two or three years or by a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.
"As cities across America evict encampments of the Occupy Wall Street movement, similarities of timing, talking points and tactics among major metropolitan mayors and police chiefs have led critics to wonder: Is some sort of national coordination going on?
The White House says there’s no federal oversight. Speaking November 15 aboard Air Force One, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said “The president’s position is that obviously every municipality has to make its own decisions about how to handle these issues.”
But a little-known but influential private membership based organization has placed itself at the center of advising and coordinating the crackdown on the encampments. The Police Executive Research Forum, an international non-governmental organization with ties to law enforcement and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, has been coordinating conference calls with major metropolitan mayors and police chiefs to advise them on policing matters and discuss response to the Occupy movement. The group has distributed a recently published guide on policing political events.
Speaking to Democracy Now! On November 17, PERF Executive Director Chuck Wexler acknowledged PERF’s coordination of a series of conference-call strategy sessions with big-city police chiefs. These calls were distinct from the widely reported national conference calls of major metropolitan mayors.
The coordination of political crackdowns on the Occupy movement has been conducted behind closed doors, with city officials and PERF refusing to say how many cities participated in the conference calls and the exact nature of the discussions. Reports of at least a dozen cities and some indication of as many as 40 accepting PERF advice and/or strategic documents include San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Portland, Oakland, Atlanta, and Washington DC.
The San Francisco Police Department and Mayor Ed Lee’s office did not returned the Guardian’s request for comment about the PERF calls by press time. However, Oakland interim Police Chief Howard Jordan was quoted by the Associated Press confirming Oakland and San Francisco police involvement in the strategy sessions.
PERF coordinated a November 10 conference call with city police chiefs across the country – and many of these cities undertook crackdowns shortly afterward.
"We know that there were influential conference calls of private groups that include police chiefs who played key roles in repressing the anti-globalization movement, in order to stage rolling attacks on occupations across the country,” said Baruca Peller, an organizer for Occupy Oakland. “In less than a week an unprecedented number of protesters have been brutalized and arrested, and in many cities such as Oakland these evictions were pushed for by the local one-percent.”
“Occupy Oakland is calling for a national day of re-occupation on Saturday, to let them know that if they can take a national offensive against us, we can take a national offensive in response and we will re-take these public spaces and what is already ours.”
According to PERF’s website, general membership in the group is exclusive to “the executive head of a municipal, county or state-funded agency that provides general police services. The agency must have at least 100 full-time employees, or serve a population of 50,000 or more people.”
PERF’s current and former directors read as a who’s who of police chiefs involved in crackdowns on anti-globalization and political convention protesters resulting in thousands of arrests, hundreds of injuries, and millions of dollars paid out in police brutality and wrongful arrest lawsuits.
These current and former U.S. police chiefs — along with top ranking police union officials and representatives from Canadian and British police — have been marketing to municipal police forces and politicians their joint experiences as specialists on policing mass demonstrations.
Chairing PERF’s board of directors is Philadelphia Police Commissioner and former Washington D.C. Metro Police Chief Charles Ramsey, who was responsible for coordinating the police response to protests against international banking institutions including the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Those protests, and Ramsey’s response to massive anti-war demonstrations in Washington DC in the lead up the the Iraq War, often resulted in preemptive mass arrest of participants that were later deemed to be unconstitutional.
Ramsey’s predecessor as organization chair is former Philadelphia Police Commissioner and former Miami Police Chief John Timoney, who is responsible for the so called “Miami Model,” coined after the police crackdown on the 2003 Free Trade Agreement of the Americas protest. The police response to protesters in Miami lead to hundreds of injuries to protesters. The ACLU won multiple suits against the Miami P.D. over abuse to protesters and free speech concerns.
Prior to the 2003 protest, Timoney was quoted as saying that the FTAA was “the first big event for homeland security … the first real realistic run-through to see how it would work.”
Timoney arrived in Miami with plenty of baggage. At the 2000 Republican National Convention, Timoney coordinated a crackdown that resulted in more than 420 arrests with only 13 convictions, none of which resulted in jail time. As in Miami, there was well documented abuse of some of the people arrested.
Also among PERF’s directors is Minneapolis police chief Tim Dolan, who was responsible for the crackdown on protesters at the 2008 Republican National Convention. That event also resulted in lawsuits, protester injuries and an outcry from the national press about police brutality and the preemptive nature of the police action.
PERF is more than a mere policy group. Wexler has personally represented PERF at major political events, in face-to-face dialog with police tactical commanders and leadership. That was the case at the 2008 Republican National Convention, where Wexler and Minneapolis Police Chief Dolan coordinated what is widely regarded as one of the most aggressive political crackdowns in recent American history.
Wexler spent the afternoon of October 14 observing Occupy Philadelphia with Philadelphia police commissioner Ramsey. Speaking to the Philadelphia Tribune, Ramsey said: “They wanted to see what the Occupy protesters were doing here in Philadelphia. As we walked through their encampment, almost immediately they were texting other groups around the country – it was happening while we were there and that was very, very interesting. It’s instant communication, and it’s worldwide. We have to become more adept at using the technology. Our police department has its own active Facebook page as a way of reaching out to the community.”
“Had a great one-day conference in Philly about social media – very pertinent these days with the occupy protests …” Wexler stated from his twitter account.
As the occupation movement grew, PERF began circulating a publication titled Managing Major Events: Best Practices from the Field. The manual – a copy of which we downloaded — amounts to a how-to guide for policing political events, and gives special attention to policing “Anarchists” and “Eco Terrrorists” at political events.
The guide encourages the use of undercover officers and snatch squads to “grab the bad guys and remove them from the crowd.” It urges local law enforcement to use social media to map the Occupy movement.
An earlier PERF guide Police Management of Mass Demonstrations advocates the use of embedded media to control police messages, the use of undercover cops to infiltrate protest groups, the use and pitfalls of preemptive mass arrest, an examination of the use of less-than-lethal crowd control weapons, and general discussion weighing the use of force in crowd control.”~SFBG