Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

RIP Pete Seeger, BAD-ASS American Hero

00 Pete Seeger. Bad-Ass American Hero. 29.01.14






On Monday, American folk singer, social activist, and all-around righteous person Pete Seeger passed away  at the age of 94. There are countless reasons that he mattered, like when he stood up to Congress during his appearance before the Un-American Activities Committee… yes, that was the real name. Like many entertainers, he was told to appear on Capitol Hill, where they questioned him about his association with the Communist Party, but unlike many entertainers, he refused to invoke his Fifth Amendment right. He was later charged with Contempt of Congress, sentenced to 10 years in prison, and blacklisted. However, an appeal overturned that conviction in 1961. Seeger remained protesty; two years ago, he marched with Occupy Wall StreetSolidarity Forever!

28 January 2014

Bucky Turco


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Sunday, 30 June 2013

Anti-Bank Activist Prosecuted For Sidewalk Graffiti

00.02h 12.10.11 Political Cartoons. Occupy Wall Street


In America, the First Amendment doesn’t apply if the free speech upsets a bank. Jeff Olson, a 40-year-old man from San Diego CA, is facing prosecution for scrawling anti-bank messages on a sidewalk. He faces a 13-year jail sentence. RT quoted the San Diego Reader, which reported that a judge barred Olson’s attorney from “mentioning the First Amendment, free speech, free expression, public forum, expressive conduct, or political speech during the trial”, in which Olson faces charges on 13 counts of vandalism. The judge ruled, “The State’s Vandalism Statute doesn’t mention First Amendment rights”. It isn’t surprising that the judge’s decision flabbergasted Olson’s attorney. He told the press, “I’ve never heard that before, that a court can prohibit an argument of First Amendment rights”.

Jeff Olsen, a political activist and a member of the Occupy Wall Street movement, faces trial for scrawling thirteen anti-bank messages using children’s chalk on a sidewalk outside of three San Diego CA branches of Bank of America. The slogans on the sidewalk were quite innocuous and included no profanities or strong language. Bank of America took offence at slogans such as “Stop Big Banks!” and “Stop Bank Blight!” It initiated legal proceedings against the activist who used a public sidewalk as a means of spreading his message.

 The San Diego Reader obtained records of the criminal case and found out that Darell Freeman, Bank of America Vice President of Global Corporate Security, pressured members of San Diego’s Gang Unit on behalf of the bank until they forwarded the matter to the City Attorney’s office. Instead of fighting local gangs, the San Diego Police Department Gang Unit is trying to jail an activist whose only wrongdoing is ticking off a big bank with messages written on a public sidewalk. Bank of America received a 54 billion USD (trillion Roubles. billion Euros. billion UK Pounds) bailout from the taxpayers, yet, its Corporate Security unit is fighting an activist. During the last couple of years, several former employees testified that Bank of America, as an institution, was involved in numerous instances of securities fraud and mortgage fraud. Why aren’t they charging the bank executives? Where’s justice?

30 June 2013

Voice of Russia World Service

Valentin Mândrăşescu


Editor’s Note:

Bank of America does many other questionable things. They’ll catch up with it… it’s becoming a political liability to Obama, and he’ll gladly throw some red meat to the lions. Bank of America has forgotten that it’s not above the law… it may find out otherwise in short order… and no one will cry for it. I can testify from personal experience that Corporate Security departments of large corporations believe themselves above the law. A Corporate Security sort at a former employer searched me for no good legal reason. He had no grounds for it. That’s kosher in post-Bush America. That’s what you get if you vote Republican… that’s what you march for in “Pro-Life” Marches. Show some grit and brains… you should NEVER vote for ANY Republican candidate under any circumstances… they’re the Party of Repression and Greed.



Wednesday, 26 September 2012

At Least 65 Injured as Police Clash with Protesters in Spain


Local television reported that at least 65 people were injured and 27 arrested as baton-wielding police clashed with protesters attempting to surround the building of the Spanish parliament in Madrid. On Tuesday night, violence flared up after participants of the Occupa el Congresso (Occupy the Congress) movement tried to break through metal barriers set by police and move closer to the parliament building. Television reported that 27 policemen, who also fired rubber bullets on protesters, were injured in the clashes, whilst the authorities estimated the total number of protesters at 6,000. Participants of the movement, which is also known as “los indignados”, are protesting the high level of Spanish unemployment, corruption in the current political system, and unpopular “reforms” in economic, educational, and health spheres.

26 September 2012



Tuesday, 18 September 2012

One Year On: Quo Vadis “Occupy Wall Street?”


Their opponents on the right paint them as a fifth column carrying out their liberal paymasters’ orders. Sceptics say they’ve squandered their political capital amidst internal squabbling. However, on the first anniversary of their inaugural protest in lower Manhattan, Occupy Wall Street activists say they aren’t going anywhere. Lacy MacAuley, 33, who marched in the Occupy Wall Street protest a year ago Monday, said, “There’s no sense at all that the energy’s dissipating. The energy’s, of course, more mature than it was a year ago. We all know each other now, and we all understand what it means to actually raise your voice amid intense police repression”. MacAuley was among the hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters Monday who descended on Zuccotti Park, the site of an encampment in the heart of the global financial empire that inspired similar protests across the United States and throughout the world. A New York City Police spokesman said that police arrested 146 activists during Monday’s protest, which aimed to disrupt the New York Stock exchange.

Occupy attracted a broad spectrum of political factions, including anarchists, environmentalists, and those upset with what they see as the American government’s subsidisation of the financial industry at the expense of the masses. Critics say the movement’s rejection of hierarchy and a unified political platform led to organisational paralysis. MacAuley, an organiser for the Occupy DC movement in the American capital, rejects this critique. She said that Occupy is about tactics… not policy, noting, “Occupy Wall Street has given an incredible amount of strength to a variety of movements, concerned citizens, and activists all over the country… and all over the world… that they didn’t have before”.

Occupy activist Suzanne Collado, who became active in the movement just days after the first Occupy protest on 17 September 2011, echoed MacAuley’s sentiment, saying the movement provided people of various political stripes with a vehicle to “come out of the shadows” to be heard. She thinks that critics are prematurely penning Occupy’s obituary, saying, “It’s only been a year. Look at the great movements that shaped history. They were never defined by where they ended up in a year”.

Ralph Young, a professor at Temple University and author of Dissent in America, said that Occupy Wall Street remains politically relevant in the United States. He believes that its most significant achievement was to propel the issue of social inequality to the forefront of the political dialogue in the United States, observing, “People have started talking about income equality, whereas before they were only talking about the [national] debt. They’ve opened up the political discussion. Even the Republicans have started talking about income inequality”.

Nina Eliasoph, a professor of sociology at the University of Southern California said that the movement made it possible for politicians and public figures to discuss “income and wealth in a way that was not possible a year ago, even though the movement itself has kind of disintegrated”. Professor Young added that social movements could, indeed, lose steam if aggressive organisational egalitarianism prevents them from forming coherent strategies for moving forward, saying, “If you look back at the civil rights movements, the early protests were spontaneous grassroots actions. There was Rosa Parks, and the Greensboro lunch counter. But then they got a cohesive centre and a charismatic speaker. Occupy Wall Street has the grassroots thing, but it hasn’t really gotten to the organisation thing yet. They don’t want that. But too much anarchy isn’t a good thing”. Professor Eliasoph thinks that one enduring achievement of the Occupy Wall Street phenomenon may be the export of the movement’s values to other venues for activism. For example, many of the group’s activists in California have moved on to pressing for reform of the public university system.

18 September 2012

Carl Schreck



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