Posts tagged ‘Day of Rage’
Protesters invade NYC Financial District
NEW YORK — More than 1,000 demonstrators descended on New York City’s Financial District on Saturday for what could be a days-long protest of what they said was corporate greed favoring the rich at the expense of ordinary people.
The rally, dubbed #OccupyWallStreet on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook where word was spread, spurred the New York Police Department to lock down Wall Street near the New York Stock Exchange and Federal Hall, local media reported.
Police set up checkpoints to allow only those who could prove they lived or worked on Wall Street to enter, the New York Daily News reported.
Pictures posted on Twitter and elsewhere showed police and barricades around the famous bronze Charging Bull statue on lower Broadway at the north end of Bowling Green park.
“A protest area was established on Broad Street at Exchange Street, next to the stock exchange, but protesters elected not to use it,” police spokesman Paul Browne said in a statement reported by The New York Times.
Demonstrators gathered in parks and plazas in Lower Manhattan and said they were determined to stay at least through the weekend so they could confront Wall Street workers on Monday morning.
Some protesters said they would stay weeks or months and likened their rally to demonstrations earlier this year in Egypt, Israel and Spain.
“It’s a worthy cause because people on Wall Street are blood-sucking warmongers,” Bill Steyerd, 68, a Vietnam veteran from Queens, told the New York Daily News. “I’m here, and in spite of these dinky barricades, we’re going to shut down Wall Street with people power.”
Counterculture magazine Adbusters and hacking group Anonymous were among the organizers asking participants to set up tents, kitchens and peaceful barricades, NY1 television station reported. Organizers hoped to draw at least 20,000 during the weekend. Satellite demonstrations were held in Los Angeles and Seattle under a Day of Rage banner, and in Barcelona, Spain, and elsewhere. source – MSNBC
State Democrats flee ahead of vote as citizens storm Capital building
MADISON, Wis. – Police officers were dispatched Thursday to find Wisconsin state lawmakers who had apparently boycotted a vote on a sweeping bill that would strip most government workers of their collective bargaining rights.
The lawmakers, all Democrats in the state Senate, did not show up when they were ordered to attend a midday vote on the legislation. The proposal has been the focus of intense protests at the Statehouse for three days. As Republicans tried to begin Senate business Thursday, observers in the gallery screamed “Freedom! Democracy! Unions!” Republicans hold a 19-14 majority, but they need at least one Democrat to be present before taking a vote on the bill.
“Today they checked out, and I’m not sure where they’re at,” Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said. “This is the ultimate shutdown, what we’re seeing today.” Democratic Minority Leader Mark Miller released a statement on behalf of all Democrats urging Gov. Scott Walker and Republicans to listen to opponents of the measure and seek a compromise. His statement did not address where Democrats were or when they planned to return.” source – Yahoo News
Revival of the Green Movement
Protests in Iran are expected to move ahead tomorrow, despite the Interior Ministry’s refusal to issue a permit for a rally in support of the Egyptian and Tunisian people. The planned demonstration has been referred to as Iran’s “Day of Rage.” The two main opposition leaders, Mir Hussein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi are believed to have been placed under house arrest for the last several days in advance of the demonstrations, though only Karroubi’s arrest can be officially confirmed. The Green Movement has been quietly kept alive since the government crackdown on protesters following the 2009 elections, and new demonstrations are anticipated to re-energize the movement; the Iranian dictators are scared.
“Iranian reformist leader Mehdi Karroubi has been placed under house arrest, presumably in connection with the request to stage the rally. But on Sunday a renewed call for the demonstration appeared on both Karroubi’s website and one belonging to another opposition leader, Mir Hossein Mousavi.
Ardeshir Amir-Arjomand, spokesman for the former presidential candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, had very strong words for the regime:
“Our dictators in Tehran are ruling the country with terror and panic,” he said. “They are afraid of their own people. They only sanction whatever pleases themselves, and disapprove of anything that is not under their surveillance. The call for renewed street protest in Iran is a clear sign that the green movement is still alive, and that’s why they’re afraid of it.”
“The regime in Iran wants to link the opposition to foreigners; this is exactly the game Mubarak played by saying that Egyptian protesters are backed and organised by foreigners, but it didn’t work at the end. This is an old trick, they [the regime in Iran] defended the protests in Egypt but when it comes to Iran, they link them to foreigners.”
According to Amir-Arjomand, the regime in Tehran depends on violence to secure its existence. He said: “Their biggest tactic is to create an atmosphere full of terror and horror, so that they can prevent people from going out or at least reducing their numbers. They have plans to produce violence on Monday and this is why they have increased the security presence in central Tehran.”
All Eyes on Tehran
The White House expressed Friday that the Iranian regime is afraid they are next in line after watching Mubarak’s fall from power. Robert Gibbs on his last day as Press Secretary said that Ahmadinejad’s government is not confident in its power, and that it is “quite frankly scared of the will of its people.” Gibbs remarked that Iran’s leadership is not in line with the people, and that if it were, they would have nothing to be afraid of. Iranian leadership has come out with constant threats against those that may try to organize and start another movement against the regime. “They’re scared of that, and they’re threatening those who might do it with death,” Gibbs said.
Iranian opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have requested a permit to gather at Tehran’s Azadi square on February 14 in support of the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, and this is seen as a potential “Day of Rage” for Iran. The Iranian regime cracked down on demonstrators following the 2009 election and have vowed to do so if the people try to organize again.
The opposition is hoping the “Day of Rage” re-energizes the Green movement, which has been beaten back by a fearsome government crackdown since the 2009 riots. So far, the Feb. 14 protest has sparked considerable interest online – its Facebook page shows more than 17,000 people “likes.” source: Business Insider
It has not gone unnoticed that President Obama took a remarkably different position in speaking out about the Egyptian protests, versus his stance on the movement that took place in Iran in 2009.
Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), chairman of the Republican Study Committee, said in a statement Friday afternoon that Obama has not done enough in the past to stand up for protesters in Iran.
“The manner in which the Obama administration has chosen to be publicly active in the circumstances surrounding the protests in Egypt is in sharp contrast to the deafening silence that came from the White House when Iranian protesters were demanding change in their own country,” Price said. source: The Hill
Rightfully so, President Obama has been criticized for staying silent during the Iranian uprisings, and not getting behind the people. If this movement gains ground in Tehran and the people rise up again in protest, we will be watching to see how he reacts. The actions the president takes will speak volumes about what his true goal is for the Middle East. Is it really to stand behind those who are fighting for freedom and democracy, or is it to ensure that the Islamic stranglehold continues to grow even tighter?
Why would the Iranian regime come out in support of the uprisings in other nations, but be so opposed to the wishes of its own people? The answer is quite simple. The regime has been singing the praises of the “Islamic Awakening” taking place in countries like Tunisia and Egypt, but the Green movement of Iran poses a threat to Islamic leadership. If the people had their way in Iran, there would be no Islamic Republic; Ahmadinejad and the Mullahs will certainly not allow that to happen without a fight.