Friday, December 02, 2011



Nuclear Detonation Timeline "1945-1998"

The 2053 nuclear tests and explosions that took place between 1945 and 1998 are plotted visually and audibly on a world map.


Hartmann: OWS student loans - are student debt strikes coming?


Suggested slogan for the 2012 elections:




We Are the 99 Percent

We are the 99 percent. We are getting kicked out of our homes. We are forced to choose between groceries and rent. We are denied quality medical care. We are suffering from environmental pollution. We are working long hours for little pay and no rights, if we're working at all. We are getting nothing while the other 1 percent is getting everything. We are the 99 percent.

Brought to you by the people who occupy wall street. Why will YOU occupy?


Drop All Charges on the 'Occupy Wall Street' Arrestees!
Stop Police Attacks & Arrests! Support 'Occupy Wall Street'!

SIGN THE ONLINE PETITION AT: to send email messages to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, NYC City Council, NYPD, the NY Congressional Delegation, Congressional Leaders, the NY Legislature, President Obama, Attorney General Holder, members of the media YOU WANT ALL CHARGES DROPPED ON THE 'OCCUPY WALL STREET ARRESTEES!


Bay Area United Against War Newsletter
Table of Contents:





Hi All,

I hope you can join us!
Save the date: Saturday December 3: OccupySF Housing Day of Actions
In conjunction with OccupySF, the Tenants Union, Causa Justa:: Just Cause, Housing Rights Committee. Eviction Defense Collaborative, ACCE, Tenants Together & others will be holding a day of actions focused on the role banks play in the evictions of tenants via their financing of real-estate speculators.
Banks: No more Evictions and Foreclosures for Profit!
Join tenant and homeowner groups together with Occupy SF for a Mass March on December 3rd, 2011. We gather and rally in four neighborhoods in San Francisco which have experienced high rates of evictions for profit, and highlight the local struggles of the 99% against banks, and greedy real estate speculators. Then join us for a mass march at 3pm from Justin Herman Plaza to demand housing justice and corporate accountability.
Neighborhood actions kick off in the following locations:
Bayview: 11am, 3rd and Palou-focused on foreclosures by banks
Castro: 12pm, Harvey Milk Plaza-focused on banks financing Ellis Act
Mission: 1pm, corner of 24th and Mission--focused on banks financing Ellis Act
Tenderloin: 1pm, Civic Center-focused on banks financing Citi Apartment purchases
Mass March: Meet at 3pm at Justin Herman Plaza
The SFTU will focus on the 1pm march and rally in the Tenderloin. Here is a link to the facebook event page:
Here is the event for the full day of events:
Also, a facebook page has been created for the mass day of action:
On December 1st, from 5-8pm SFTU will host a sign making party for the march. We will make signs, eat pizza, and get ready for the big day. All are welcome!
Please spread the word!!
Becca Gourevitch
Volunteer Coordinator, San Francisco Tenants Union
558 Capp St.
San Francisco, CA 94110


Oscar Grant Committee Against Police Brutality and State Repression and Berkeley Copwatch present a community forum and video showing:

Silencing The Witnesses:
Government Attacks on the Right To Observe
Saturday, December 3, 2011, 2:00 p.m.
Humanist Hall, 390 27th Street (between Broadway & Telegraph)
Oakland, California 94612

Recent protests have drawn incredibly violent responses from police agencies. Tear gas, flash bang grenades, bean bag rounds and overwhelming force has been documented by civilian journalists across the country at Occupy protests.

Meanwhile, on a daily basis, people who attempt to document police abuse are increasingly being targeted for their efforts to bring human rights violations to light. In response to new legislation and outright assaults, activists are waging a national struggle to keep copwatching safe and legal. Join us for an update of where the right to record stands, how the government is suppressing evidence of brutality and how we can defend our first amendment rights right here in the Bay Area.

· Video Updates will include footage from civilian monitors
· Wheelchair accessible
· There is a $5-$10 suggested donation
· Refreshments will be provided


MECA and Joining Hands' 9th Annual Palestinian Bazaar

One Day Only: Sunday, December 4th
10 AM - 4PM

Live Oak Park
1301 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley

Beautiful Hand-Crafted Gifts

Bring your friends! Grab a bite of delicious Arabic food and coffee --
Benefits Palestinian craftspeople

Come shop at this popular annual sale of beautifully crafted items:
Olive wood, First Cold Press Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Pure Olive Oil Soap, Beautiful Scarves & Shawls (new styles!), Traditional Embroidery, Hand-blown Glassware from Hebron, Colorful Hand woven rugs, Ceramics from Jerusalem & Gaza, Cookbooks, Children's books, Calendars, Honey, Jewelry, Children's clothing, Dolls from Gaza, food items and more! New this year-Palestinian Dead Sea Products.

This is a great opportunity to buy something quite special -- and also support cooperative unions and crafts people living under Israeli Occupation.

Please join us in celebrating the heritage, artistry, and creativity of the Palestinian people!

Leena Al-Arian
Program and Communications Coordinator
Middle East Children's Alliance
1101 8th Street
Berkeley, CA 94710


Against the wars of occupation; Against the interference in the internal affairs of countries; In defense of the integrity and sovereignty of nations

Algiers, Algeria -- December 3-5, 2011

Ever since the invasion of Afghanistan by NATO troops in 2001, under the pretext of the "War on Terror," and of Iraq in 2003, in the name of a so-called "struggle for democracy," imperialist governments, under the leadership of the U.S. government, have implemented a strategy based on international wars of occupation and plunder. This strategy has also included widespread interference in the internal affairs of nations, the astronomic growth of war budgets, the assault on democratic rights, and the massive cuts in social spending -- particularly in Europe and the United States.

Today, the governments of the imperialist powers -- specifically the U.S., French, British and Italian governments -- have opened a new front in the war; this time in the Maghreb region of Northern Africa. (*)

A new step has been taken with the further implementation of the U.S. government's Greater Middle East Plan, which was first announced by George W. Bush in 2003 at the time of the launching of the war of occupation and looting of Iraq. It's a plan that aims to dismantle nations along ethnic, religious and communitarian lines -- from Pakistan to Mauritania.

At the very moment when the Tunisian and Egyptian workers and peoples are struggling to exercise their full sovereignty by means of democracy, Libya is descending into chaos after a foreign military intervention under the aegis of NATO -- an intervention that threatens its territorial integrity.

By this means, all the countries of the Maghreb region are now facing threats to their integrity. But this is not all: The implications for the SAHEL countries (parts of Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, Tunisia, Ethiopia and Eritrea) and, more generally, for sub-Saharan Africa are incalculable. This is because the conflict has gone way beyond the Libyan borders in terms of the movement of weapons -- including heavy weapons massively distributed among Libyan civilians and armed terrorist groups who have openly displayed them in the aftermath of the foreign military intervention.

This is not to mention the devastating effects on the economies of these countries, especially when combined with the massive return of hundreds of thousands of migrants who had been working in Libya, as well as more than one million Libyan refugees, mostly in Tunisia.

In reality, through the foreign military intervention in Libya, the U.S., French, British and Italian imperialists seek to terrorize all the peoples of the region and the world.

No political party genuinely committed to the sovereignty of nations and to democracy can condone, under whatever pretext whatsoever, the imperialist war of occupation and plunder in Libya. No labor organization faithful to the traditions of the international labor movement can condone such a war. That is why we the undersigned reject another war on our African continent -- a continent that is already bloodied and torn apart by so-called ethnic conflicts, which are really nothing but the result of foreign plunder of the continent's natural resources, the repayment of foreign debt, and the various manipulations that result therewith.

We reject any foreign military presence in any form whatsoever in our region of the Maghreb, elsewhere across Northern Africa, and, more generally, on our continent of Africa.

We reject any and all attacks upon sovereign nations.

We reject the foreign looting of the riches and resources of the peoples of the Maghreb and of Africa as a whole. Taking control over these resources -- including through the installation of foreign military bases, starting with AFRICOM (United States Africa Command) -- is the real objective of the war of occupation in Libya, under the auspices of NATO. This is what's really at stake.

We denounce the imperialist designs of the governments that are racing to grab the reconstruction deals for the infrastructure of Libya, destroyed by NATO air strikes - another stake of the war.

We deny the imperialist governments, NATO and the mongers of war and chaos the right to decide the fate of the peoples of the Maghreb, sub-Saharan Africa and all peoples of the world.

We affirm that because there can be no popular sovereignty without national sovereignty, from the standpoint of democracy it is up to sovereign peoples -- and up to them alone -- to define their present and their future without external interference and foreign military intervention.

We call upon organizations and parties around the world and in our own country that oppose the imperialist wars to join us in supporting and participating in an Emergency International Conference in Algiers on December 3-5, 2011, against the wars of occupation, against the interference in the internal affairs of countries, and in defense of the integrity and sovereignty of nations. (**)


A. Sidi Said
General Secretary
General Union of Algerian Workers (UGTA)
Louisa Hanoune
General Secretary
Workers Party of Algeria (PT)
* * * * *

(*) The five countries that make up the Maghreb region are Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, and Mauritania.

(**) For more information about the conference or how you can get involved, please contact the International Liaison Committee of Workers and Peoples in Paris at . You can also write to . Thanks.


Howard Petrick's "Rambo" -- an anti-VietNam War GI activist tells his story at the Marsh Theater in Berkeley--UNTIL DECEMBER 10

[This is a great show. I'm going for the second time this Friday. Great lessons for the movement today!]

Directed by Mark Kenward and developed with David Ford, the show plays on Thursday and Friday at 7:00 pm and Saturday at 8:30 pm from October 20 to December 10, 2011 (press opening November 4, no performance on Thanksgiving Day) at The Cabaret at The Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston Way, near Shattuck. The public may visit or call 415-282-3055.

The Little Guy Takes on the Pentagon
in Howard Petrick's "Rambo: The Missing Years"

The Hilarious and True Story of the Private Who Protested the Viet Nam War - While Still in the Army!

"Howard's show is proof you can fight bureaucracy and win. How he does so is told with aplomb and a certain sense of mischievousness." - Vancouver Fringe

"The potency of the show...springs from Petrick's first-hand account of his anti-Vietnam activism from within the army...this comes with an intriguing authenticity."- Winnipeg Free Press

"Petrick delivers...For 60 minutes he has you laughing through the fear." - Winnipeg Uptown

The Vancouver Sun calls San Francisco's Howard Petrick, "a guy who really knows how to get up the nose of the war machine." Petrick's Rambo: The Missing Years is an hilarious - and true - account of the misadventures of a Vietnam-era draftee who frustrates the military brass by asserting his right to organize his fellow GIs against the war. Petrick's Rambo - not to be confused in the least with the Sylvester Stallone action figure - plays at The Marsh-Berkeley, 2120 Allston Way in Berkeley.

The story begins as Petrick reports for the draft and refuses to fill out the forms, befuddling the military bureaucracy for the first of many times to come. Yet, during his time of service he maintains an unblemished military record, breaks no rules, and continues to carry out his military duties.

Directed by Mark Kenward and developed with David Ford.

A twenty-year-old anti-war activist in 1966 when he was drafted into the Army, Pvt. Petrick was a model soldier except when the subject of Vietnam came up. At that point, he missed no opportunity to make his opinions known to his fellow GIs and anyone else who would listen. His activities helped ignite an antiwar movement in the barracks and led to a confrontation with the brass. Calls from the Pentagon! Threats of treason! By the time it was all over, Petrick, who never backed down, had become something of a celebrity. He even had a song written about him and was the subject of an article in the New York Times. From the ass-scratching first cook to the frustrated Military Intelligence officer, Petrick brings over twenty characters to life in this autobiographical solo piece.

"If Westmoreland can give a political partisan speech to the Press Club in New York City supporting the war, then I should be able to speak in uniform opposing the war." - Howard Petrick quoted in the Texas Observer in 1967.

It's a comedy that keeps hope alive. Here are more kudos for the show:

"Petrick made headlines as a GI for his outspoken opposition to the Vietnam War, and he's turned his experiences into a deftly crafted solo show." - Georgia Straight (Vancouver)

His "aw shucks" attitude had me right there with him every step of the way, rooting for my new hero. Please don't miss this true tale. - Jenny Revue (Winnipeg)

"His ear for superb." - Georgia Straight (Vancouver)

"It's an engaging tale, often funny...Petrick's writing is strong...valuable as a piece of history in a time when for much of the population, Vietnam is just a vague, long-ago event." - Fresno Bee

"This is an important piece of history - from the common man's point of view." - Victoria Fringe

"A must see!" - The Plank (Vancouver)

Howard Petrick has studied solo performance with David Ford, Ann Randolph, James Donlon, Mark Kenward and Leonard Pitt. He has performed at FronteraFest, The Marsh, Words First, City Solo, San Francisco Theater Festival, Solo Sundays, Tell it on Tuesday, the Fresno Rogue Festival and Fringe Festivals in Boulder, Chicago, Winnipeg, Victoria and Vancouver. For more information, visit


Occupy Oakland Calls for TOTAL WEST COAST PORT SHUTDOWN ON 12/12
Posted by OccupyWallSt

Support Occupy Call for Dec. 12 Coast Shutdown
Occupy Movement and Ports Workers:

NOVEMBER 28 - On November 2, some 30,000 demonstrators marched on the Port of Oakland, shutting it down on the evening shift in response to a call by Occupy Oakland for a "general strike." One of the declared aims of the powerful march was to show solidarity with longshore workers facing a vicious union-busting attack by the EGT grain conglomerate in Longview, Washington. ILWU officials had scuttled calls by some rank and file longshoremen in the hiring hall that morning to stop work all day.

Now several Occupy groups have issued a call for a West Coast Port Blockade for Dec. 12. Once again they are highlighting the attack on the Longview ILWU, as well as that on the port truckers' union organizing drive in Los Angeles/Long Beach, by the notorious anti-union SSA, majority-owned by Goldman Sachs. The Wall Street banksters and PMA are also pushing a robotics contract provision to cut longshore jobs to the bone in the largest port in the country. Occupy Seattle aims to shut down the port to protest Democrat governor Gregoire's budget cuts.

Waterfront workers from Longview to Long Beach and beyond are facing a frontal attack threatening the future of our jobs and our unions. What's needed to defeat these employer assaults is a solid union action, shutting down the Coast. The call by the populist Occupy movement to blockade ports should be welcomed as supplementary support for labor's struggle. President McEllrath, on Oct. 5 publicized his "solidarity with Occupy Wall Street" statement. But now, the ILWU International officers are contradicting themselves, undermining unity with Occupy and saying the union wants nothing to do with the Dec. 12 blockade.

This is more than a ritual CYA declaration. The voice of the maritime bosses, the Journal of Commerce, (23 November) noted that the union leaders were making clear that they were hostile to the Occupy initiative. The ILWU Coast Committee issued a Nov. 21 memo slamming "outside groups intent on driving their own agendas." The next day it followed up with a press statement "clarifying" its stand on "third-party protests." These shameful statements go against the grain of ILWU's militant record of solidarity actions and don't represent the rank and file's sentiments. ILWU is bottom up not top down.

The Coast Committee said that a community demonstration or picket is not a picket line, as defined by the longshore contract. This flies in the face of "ILWU's 10 Guiding Principles", which say:
"Unions have to accept the fact that the solidarity of labor stands above all else, including even the socalled sanctity of the contract."

Occupy's enemies, EGT and SSA, are ILWU's enemies too.

The ILWU Story, Six Decades of Militant Unionism and The Dispatcher document ILWU's proud history of longshore workers honoring community pickets. For example, here are some community demonstrations or pickets honored by ILWU:

1) 1970's-1980's community pickets in San Francisco opposed apartheid. In 1984, Local 10 longshoremen themselves refused to unload a ship from South Africa without need for a community picket. Mandela applauded that action which sparked the antiapartheid movement.

2) In 1998, in a stunning example of international labor solidarity with Australian wharfies, LA longshoremen respected a labor/community picket and forced the scab ship, Columbia Canada, to return to Australia to be loaded by MUA union workers.

3) 3) In 2003, at the start of the Iraq War anti-war protesters blocked the gates of war profiteers SSA and APL at the port of Oakland. Longshoremen standing by on the safety clause in the contract were hit by police fire. An unprecedented lawsuit against the OPD by Local 10 was won by the union. Our legal brief documented a history of police violence against longshoremen going back to the Big Strike of 1934 when two strikers were shot in the back and killed by police.

4) Now the International turns its back on our history. We have to ask: Why would the Coast Committee place longshore workers in harms way by directing them to standby on safety if there is a large demonstration at the terminal gate when the danger to port workers is not from the protesters but the police? (Just look at the Longview longshore workers who have been beaten and pepper sprayed.) And why would the Coast Committee be concerned about a lawsuit against the union when all of these labor and community pickets were initiated by the ranks, not by the officers? Bottom up not top down!

Their memo and statement underline that any port shutdown will come from the rank and file over the opposition of the International officers. It wouldn't be the first time. Last April 4, Local 10 shut down Bay Area ports in solidarity with Wisconsin workers, and a year ago it held a stop-work rally for justice for Oscar Grant, protesting the police killing of an innocent young black man. We welcomed community support for these mobilizations.

Their memo and statement reek of lawyers' arguments that accept anti-labor laws as gospel. They talk of "the union's internal democratic process." So, has the membership been asked to vote on shutting down the ports over the EGT attack? What about refusing to load or unload STX and Itochu ships, part of the EGT consortium along with the grain conglomerate Bunge? The truth is the union leadership has done everything to prevent democratic rank-and-file decision-making and action. Is there a secret plan?!

1) The Coast Committee tried to gag Longview Local 21's president Dan Coffman, by preventing him from talking to the press, but the local prevailed in their fight to allow him to speak.

2) The Coast Committee has blocked any kind of democratic forum to discuss the most important ILWU struggle in decades, whether it be a dual area meeting of the rank and file in Washington and Oregon or a Coast Caucus, representing longshoremen from all West Coast ports.

3) They've tried to thwart Local 21 members from going to other locals to give information and gain support. Now they try to stop ILWU from linking up with the populist Occupy movement.

4) The Coast Committee has exerted pressure on the small Local 21 to follow their orders or face losing the union's financial support for fines and legal costs approaching $2,000,000, they say.

The ILWU has a long history of standing up to the employing class and organizing solidarity actions, often despite the International officers' positions. This is a source of pride for our membership and the ILWU is admired by other unions for its courageous stands. Longshoremen, as always, need to link up now with other port workers, truckers, machinists, warehousemen and the Occupy movement in a fight against the port bosses for our jobs and our unions, regardless of what the union tops put out.

The Longview workers are more than thankful for the support they have already received in their fight - our fight - against EGT. Speaking at a labor rally before a Nov. 19 march called by Occupy Oakland, Local 21 president Dan Coffman said, referring to the awesome Nov. 2 march that shut down the port in Oakland, "You cannot believe what you did for the inspiration of my union members who've been on the picket line for 6 months!"

The ILWU must support the Occupy move to shut down West Coast ports on Dec. 12. Most importantly, we must show the power of workers when the ship arrives in Longview days later to load scab grain at the EGT terminal. The call must go out: PORT WORKERS: SHUT DOWN ALL U.S. PORTS !!

Transport Workers Solidarity Committee ( For more info: Labor donated

-In Oakland: the West Coast Port Shutdown Coordinating Committee will meet on General Assembly days at 5pm before the GA to organize the local shutdown, and to network with other occupations.


Army sets pre-trial hearing date for Bradley. Vigils and rallies planned at Fort Meade MD, worldwide.

Protest his Pretrial Hearing Saturday, Dec 17th (Bradley's B-Day) at 12pm at Fort Meade, MD outside Washington D.C.! (Solidarity actions taking place around the world.)


January 1st 2012 March and Speak-Out in memory
of Oscar Grant and all victims of police terror

*********OGC REPORT*********

On Sunday, November 27, 2011 the Occupy Oakland General Assembly approved by 99% the proposal below for a January 1st 2012 March and Speak-Out in memory of Oscar Grant and all victims of police terror. The working group will have its first meeting on Wednesday November 30th at 8:00 p.m. at San Francisco Pizza, 1500 Broadway, Oakland. *Please join us!!!*

PROPOSAL * The Oscar Grant Committee Against Police Brutality and State Repression, Bring the Ruckus, and the Raider Nation Collective propose that the Occupy Oakland General Assembly support, participate in, and help to organize a march and Speak Out on January 1, 2012 from Oscar Grant Plaza to the Fruitvale BART station to memorialize and protest the BART Police murder of fellow worker Oscar Grant and all victims of police violence and state terrorism.

By approving this proposal, the assembly will be mandated to form a working group set with the task of mobilizing a broad section of working class people from East, West, and North Oakland by the way of hand-to-hand flyering, canvassing neighborhoods, and having conversations that prioritize the struggles against police brutality, police profiling, and imprisonment.

We are also asking this Assembly to stand up, through this proposed Speak Out, against the Oakland Police Department's daily violent, repression of working class, low-income of communities of color through curfews, gang injunctions and loitering laws, in addition to outright murder by police.


UNAC Conference: March 23-25, 2012

The United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) conference originally scheduled for November, 11-13, 2011, has been rescheduled for March 23-25, 2012, in order to tie in to organizing efforts for building massive protests at the NATO/G-8 Summits in Chicago, May 15-22, and to have sufficient time to generate an action program for the next stage of building a mass movement for social change.

Organizations are invited to endorse this conference by clicking here:

Donations are needed for bringing international speakers and to subsidize attendance of students and low income participants. Contributions will be accepted at

For the initial conference flyer, click here:

Click here to donate to UNAC:

Click here for the Facebook UNAC group:


NATO/G8 protests in Chicago.
United National Antiwar Committee or UNAC at P.O. Box 123, Delmar, NY 12054

UNAC, along with other organizations and activists, has formed a coalition to help organize protests in Chicago during the week of May 15 - 22 while NATO and G8 are holding their summit meetings. The new coalition was formed at a meeting of 163 people representing 73 different organization in Chicago on August 28 and is called Coalition Against NATO/G8 War and Poverty Agenda (CANGATE). For a report on the Chicago meeting, click here:

To add your email to the new CANGATE listserve, send an email to:

To have your organization endorse the NATO/G8 protest, please click here:

Click here to hear audio of the August 28 meeting:

Click here for the talk by Marilyn Levin, UNAC co-coordinator at the August 28 meeting:

Click here for Pat Hunts welcome to the meeting and Joe Iosbaker's remarks:

NATO and the G8 Represent the 1%.

In May, they will meet in Chicago. Their agenda is war on poor nations, war on the poor and working people - war on the 99%.

We are demanding the right to march on their summit, to say:
Jobs, Healthcare, Education, Pensions, Housing and the Environment, Not War!

No to NATO/G-8 Warmakers!

No to War and Austerity!

NATO's military expenditures come at the expense of funding for education, housing and jobs programs; and the G8 continues to advance an agenda of 'austerity' that includes bailouts, tax write-offs and tax holidays for big corporations and banks at the expense of the rest of us.

During the May 2012 G8 and NATO summits in Chicago, many thousands of people will want to exercise their right to protest against NATO's wars and against the G8 agenda to only serve the richest one percent of society. We need permits to ensure that all who want to raise their voices will be able to march.

Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel has stonewalled repeated attempts by community organizers to meet with the city to discuss reasonable accommodations of protesters' rights. They have finally agreed to meet with us, but we need support: from the Occupy movement, the anti-war movement, and all movements for justice.

Our demands are simple:

That the City publicly commit to provide protest organizers with permits that meet the court- sanctioned standard for such protests -- that we be "within sight and sound" of the summits; and

That representatives of the City, including Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, refrain from making threats against protesters.

The protest movement, Occupy Wall Street (OWS), has the support of a majority of the American people. This is because people are suffering from the economic crisis brought about by Wall Street and big banks. As the OWS movement describes it, the "99%" see extreme economic inequality, where millions are unemployed without significant help while bankers in trouble get bailed out.

In Chicago and around the country, the Occupy movement is being met with repression: hundreds have been arrested, beaten, tear gassed, spied on, and refused their right to protest.

The Chicago Police Department and the Mayor have already acknowledged that they are coming down hard on the Occupy movement here to send a message to those who would protest against NATO and the G8.

We need a response that is loud and clear: we have the right to march against the generals and the bankers. We have the right to demand an end to wars, military occupations, and attacks on working people and the poor.

How you can help:

1) Sign the petition to the City of Chicago at You can also make a contribution there.

2) Write a statement supporting the right to march and send it to us

3) To endorse the protests, go to or write to

4) Print out and distribute copies of this statement, attached along with a list of supporters of our demands for permits.

4) And then march inChicago on May 15th and May 19th. Publicizethe protests. Join us!

Formore info: or email us at


[Some of these videos are embeded on the BAUAW website: or]


Japanese Women For Peace
Inspired by the teaching and example of Noriko Nagata, Japan's women march and stand for peace and justice.


Noriko Nagata, War Resister
40 years ago, in Tokyo, Noriko Nagata lost her life in war resistance, but her teaching and her example will never die.


Mic Check Obama


UC Davis Police Violence Adds Fuel to Fire
By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News
19 November 11

UC Davis Protestors Pepper Sprayed


Police pepper spraying and arresting students at UC Davis


Officers Put on Leave After Pepper Spraying Protesters
November 20, 2011, 2:58 pm

UC Davis Chancellor Katehi walks to her car!

Occupy Seattle - 84 Year Old Woman Dorli Rainey Pepper Sprayed




Occupy With Aloha -- Makana -- The Story

We Are The Many -- Makana -- The Song

We Are The Many
Lyrics and Music by Makana
Makana Music LLC (c) 2011

Download song for free here:


Rafeef Ziadah - 'Shades of anger', London, 12.11.11


News: Massive anti-nuclear demonstration in Fukuoka Nov. 12, 2011


Shot by police with rubber bullet at Occupy Oakland


Copwatch@Occupy Oakland: Beware of Police Infiltrators and Provocateurs


Occupy Oakland 11-2 Strike: Police Tear Gas, Black Bloc, War in the Streets


Quebec police admitted that, in 2007, thugs carrying rocks to a peaceful protest were actually undercover Quebec police officers:

POLICE STATE Criminal Cops EXPOSED As Agent Provocateurs @ SPP Protest


quebec police admit going undercover at montebello protests

G20: Epic Undercover Police Fail



Occupy Oakland Protest

Cops make mass arrests at occupy Oakland

Raw Video: Protesters Clash With Oakland Police

Occupy Oakland - Flashbangs USED on protesters OPD LIES

KTVU TV Video of Police violence

Marine Vet wounded, tear gas & flash-bang grenades thrown in downtown Oakland

Tear Gas billowing through 14th & Broadway in Downtown Oakland

Arrests at Occupy Atlanta -- This is what a police state looks like


Labor Beat: Hey You Billionaire, Pay Your Fair Share


Voices of Occupy Boston 2011 - Kwame Somburu (Paul Boutelle) Part I

Voices of Occupy Boston 2011 - Kwame Somburu (Paul Boutelle) Part II


#Occupy St. Louis: Bank of America refuses to let customers close accounts




#Occupy Wall Street In Washington Square: Mohammed Ezzeldin, former occupier of Egypt's Tahrir Square Speaks at Washington Square!


#OccupyTheHood, Occupy Wall Street
By adele pham

@OccupyTheHood, Occupy Wall Street from adele pham on Vimeo.


Live arrest at brooklyn bridge #occupywallstreet by We are Change



Free Them


The Preacher and the Slave - Joe Hill


Visualizing a Trillion: Just How Big That Number Is?
"1 million seconds is about 11.5 days, 1 billion seconds is about 32 years while a trillion seconds is equal to 32,000 years."
Digital Inspiration

How Much Is $1 Trillion?

Courtesy the credit crisis and big bailout packages, the figure "trillion" has suddenly become part of our everyday conversations. One trillion dollars, or 1 followed by 12 zeros, is lots of money but have you ever tried visualizing how big that number actually is?

For people who can visualize one million dollars, the comparison made on CNN should give you an idea about a trillion - "if you start spending a million dollars every single day since Jesus was born, you still wouldn't have spend a trillion dollars".

Another mathematician puts it like this: "1 million seconds is about 11.5 days, 1 billion seconds is about 32 years while a trillion seconds is equal to 32,000 years".

Now if the above comparisons weren't really helpful, check another illustration that compares the built of an average human being against a stack of $100 currency notes bundles.

A bundle of $100 notes is equivalent to $10,000 and that can easily fit in your pocket. 1 million dollars will probably fit inside a standard shopping bag while a billion dollars would occupy a small room of your house.

With this background in mind, 1 trillion (1,000,000,000,000) is 1000 times bigger than 1 billion and would therefore take up an entire football field - the man is still standing in the bottom-left corner. (See visuals -- including a video -- at website:


One World One Revolution -- MUST SEE VIDEO -- Powerful and

"When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty." Thomas Jefferson


Japan: angry Fukushima citizens confront government (video)
Posted by Xeni Jardin on Monday, Jul 25th at 11:36am



I received the following reply from the White House November 18, 2011 regarding the Bradley Manning petition I signed:

"Why We Can't Comment on Bradley Manning

"Thank you for signing the petition 'Free PFC Bradley Manning, the accused WikiLeaks whistleblower.' We appreciate your participation in the We the People platform on

The We the People Terms of Participation explain that 'the White House may decline to address certain procurement, law enforcement, adjudicatory, or similar matters properly within the jurisdiction of federal departments or agencies, federal courts, or state and local government.' The military justice system is charged with enforcing the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Accordingly, the White House declines to comment on the specific case raised in this petition...

"This email was sent to
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"The White House • 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW • Washington, DC 20500 • 202-456-1111"

That's funny! I guess Obama didn't get this memo. Here's what Obama said about Bradley:


"He broke the law!" says Obama about Bradley Manning who has yet to even be charged, let alone, gone to trial and found guilty. How horrendous is it for the President to declare someone guilty before going to trial or being charged with a crime! Justice in the U.S.A.!

Obama on FREE BRADLEY MANNING protest... San Francisco, CA. April 21, 2011-Presidential remarks on interrupt/interaction/performance art happening at fundraiser. Logan Price queries Barack after org. FRESH JUICE PARTY political action:


Labor Beat: Labor Stands with Subpoenaed Activists Against FBI Raids and Grand Jury Investigation of antiwar and social justice activists.
"If trouble is not at your door. It's on it's way, or it just left."
"Investigate the Billionaires...Full investigation into Wall Street..." Jesse Sharkey, Vice President, Chicago Teachers Union


Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks


Coal Ash: One Valley's Tale





The Petition

To President Obama and Secretary Clinton:

At no time since the Iranian people rose up against the hated U.S-installed Shah has a U.S./Israeli military attack against Iran seemed more possible. Following three decades of unrelenting hostility, the last few months have seen a steady escalation of charges, threats, sanctions and actual preparations for an attack.

We, the undersigned demand No War, No Sanctions, no Internal Interference in Iran.

(For a complete analysis of the prospects of war, click here)


"A Child's View from Gaza: Palestinian Children's Art and the Fight Against Censorship" book

A Child's View from GazaA collection of drawings by children in the Gaza Strip, art that was censored by a museum in Oakland, California.

With a special forward by Alice Walker, this beautiful, full-color 80-page book from Pacific View Press features drawings by children like Asil, a ten-year-old girl from Rafah refugee camp, who drew a picture of herself in jail, with Arabic phrases in the spaces between the bars: "I have a right to live in peace," "I have a right to live this life," and "I have a right to play."

For international or bulk orders, please email:, or call: 510-548-0542

A Child's View from Gaza: Palestinian Children's Art and the Fight Against Censorship [ISBN: 978-1-881896-35-7]


It's time to tell the White House that "We the People" support PFC Bradley Manning's freedom and the UN's investigation into alleged torture in Quantico, VA

On September 22nd, the White House launched a new petition website called "We the People." According to the White House blog, if a petition reaches 5,000 signatures in 30 days, "it will be reviewed by policy experts and you'll receive an official response."

Act now! Sign our petition to the White House: LINK

This is our chance to make sure the people in power know that the public still care about the fate of PFC Bradley Manning, and that we won't let this issue go away until PFC Manning is recognized as the whistleblower he is. It is also an opportunity for us to educate fellow Americans who may not have heard of PFC Manning yet, by boosting our petition to the top of the site.

The same day the White House launched the petition website, it also unveiled an Open Government Action Plan calling to "Strengthen and Expand Whistleblower Protection for Government Personnel." We consider this ironic given the fact that in April of 2011 the UN Chief Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez, was forced to issue a rare reprimand to the U.S. for repeatedly denying his request to meet with alleged WikiLeaks whistleblower PFC Manning in an official, unmonitored visit to investigation allegations of his torture in the military brig of Quantico, VA.

We submitted the petition to the "We the People" website earlier this week, and we have already gathered over 1,000 signatures. We are relying on your help so that we can reach the 5,000 mark, and then some.

Signing the petition requires a quick and simple registration process. (Should you encounter technical trouble, please check out the link at the bottom of this e-mail.)

Click here to sign the petition now!

Already signed the petition? You can promote it to your friends on facebook and twitter! Copy and paste the following text: Tell the Obama Administration to let UN investigate torture of alleged WikiLeaks whistleblower PFC Bradley Manning!

We petition the obama administration to:
Free PFC Bradley Manning, the accused WikiLeaks whistleblower.!/petition/free-pfc-bradley-manning-accused-wikileaks-whistleblower/kX1GJKsD?

Using the information PFC Bradley Manning allegedly revealed, media outlets have published thousands of stories, detailing countless attempts by governments around the world -- including our own -- to illegally conceal evidence of human rights abuses.

According to the President, "employees with the courage to report wrongdoing are a government's best defense against waste, fraud and abuse."

It appears that PFC Manning acted on his conscience, at great personal risk, to answer the President's call.

However, he has been subjected to extreme confinement conditions that US legal scholars have said may amount to torture.

Therefore, we also ask the Obama administration to stop blocking the UN's chief torture investigator, Juan Mendez, from conducting an official visit with PFC Manning.


Cristian Fernandez is only 12 years old. And if Florida prosecutor Angela Corey has her way, he'll never leave jail again.

Cristian hasn't had an easy life. He's the same age now as his mother was when he was born. He's a survivor of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. In 2010, Cristian watched his stepfather commit suicide to avoid being charged with abusing Cristian.

Last January, Cristian was wrestling with his 2-year-old brother, David, and accidentally broke David's leg. Despite this, their mother left Cristian with his brother again in March. While the two boys were alone, Cristian allegedly pushed his brother against a bookcase, and David sustained a head injury. After their mother returned home, she waited six hours before taking David to the hospital. David eventually died.

Now Cristian is being charged with first degree murder -- as an adult. He's the youngest person in the history of his Florida county to receive this charge, and his next hearing is scheduled for tomorrow.

Melissa Higgins works with kids who get caught up in the criminal justice system in her home state of New Hampshire. When she read about Cristian's case, she was appalled -- so she started a petition on asking Florida State's Attorney Angela Corey to try Cristian as a child. Please sign Melissa's petition immediately before Cristian's hearing tomorrow.

As part of his prosecution, Cristian has been examined by two different forensic psychiatrists -- each of whom concluded that he was "emotionally underdeveloped but essentially reformable despite a tough life."

Cristian has already been through more than most of us can imagine -- and now the rest of his life is in the hands of a Florida prosecutor who wants to make sure Cristian never leaves jail.

The purpose of the juvenile justice system is to reform kids who haven't gotten a fair shake. If Cristian is sent to adult prison, it will be more than a tragedy for him -- it will also be a signal to other prosecutors that kids' lives are acceptable collateral in the quest to be seen as "tough on crime."

Cristian's next hearing is in just 24 hours. State's Attorney Angela Corey needs to know that her actions are being watched -- please sign the petition asking her not to try Cristian as an adult:

Thanks for being a change-maker,

- Michael and the team


International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5
TAKE ACTION: New Punishment Against Rene Gonzalez

On Oct 7, René González, one of the Cuban 5 Patriots will be released from the US prison in Marianna Florida after serving out his 15 year sentence. Rene's crime was defending the security of the Cuban people against terrorist attacks.

The US government is now trying to stop his immediate return to his homeland, and his family, after he serves out the last day of this unjust sentence. And now, in the most cynical and mean spirited fashion, the US court that sentenced him in 2001 is extending his punishment by making him remain in the United States.

Because Rene was born in the US he will now have to spend an additional 3 years of probation here. Seven months ago his lawyer presented a motion asking the court to modify the conditions of his probation so that after he finished his sentence he be allowed to return to Cuba to reunite with his wife and his family for humanitarian reasons.

On March 25, the prosecutor Caroline Heck Miller asked the judge to deny the motion. On September 16 Judge Joan Lenard rejected the defense motion, alleging among other reasons, that the Court needs time to evaluate the behavior of the condemned person after he is freed to verify that he is not a danger to the United States.

We have to remember that this is the same prosecutor that rejected an attempt to try Posada Carriles as a criminal, and this is the same judge that included in the conditions of his release a special point that while Rene is under supervised release that," the accused is prohibited from associating with or visiting specific places where individuals or groups such as terrorists are known to be or frequent"

By writing this Judge Lenard made the shameful recognition that terrorists groups do exist and enjoy impunity in Miami. Furthermore she is offering them protection from Rene from bothering or denouncing them upon his release.

It was not enough for the US government to make Rene fulfill the complete sentence to the last day; It was not enough to try and blackmail his family by telling them he would not go to trial if he collaborated against his 4 brothers; it was not enough to pressure Rene with what could happen to his family if he did not cooperate with the government, including the detention and deportation of his wife Olga Salanueva; and it was not enough to deny Olga visas to visit her husband repeatedly all these years.

Why does the US government want to continue punishing René and his family?

The prejudice of the Miami community against the Five was denounced by three judges of the Eleventh Circuit of the Atlanta Court of Appeals on August 27, 2005, where it was recognized who the terrorists were, what organizations they belonged to and where they reside. To mandate that Rene Gonzalez stay another 3 years of supervised "freedom" in Florida, where a nest of international terrorists reside and who publicly make their hatred of Cuba and the Cuban 5 known, is to put the life of Rene in serious risk.

Today we are making a call to friends from all over the world to denounce this new punishment and to demand the US government allow René Gonzalez to return to Cuba to reunite with his wife and his family as soon as he get out of prison.

Contact now President Barack Obama and US Attorney General Eric Holder demanding the immediate return of René Gonzalez to his homeland and his family


Write a letter to President Obama

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Make a phone call and leave a message for President Barack Obama: 202-456-1111

Send an e-mail message to President Barack Obama


Write a letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder

US Attorney General Eric Holder
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Make a phone call and leave a message for US Attorney General Eric Holder: 202-514-2000
Or call the public commentary line: 202-353-1555

Send an e-mail message to US Attorney General Eric Holder:

International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5

International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5
To learn more about the Cuban 5 visit:


Say No to Police Repression of NATO/G8 Protests

The CSFR Signs Letter to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

The CSFR is working with the United National Antiwar Committee and many other anti-war groups to organize mass rallies and protests on May 15 and May 19, 2012. We will protest the powerful and wealthy war-makers of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Group of 8. Mobilize your groups, unions, and houses of worship. Bring your children, friends, and community. Demand jobs, healthcare, housing and education, not war!

Office of the Mayor
City of Chicago
To: Mayor Rahm Emanuel

We, the undersigned, demand that your administration grant us permits for protests on May 15 and 19, 2012, including appropriate rally gathering locations and march routes to the venue for the NATO/G8 summit taking place that week. We come to you because your administration has already spoken to us through Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. He has threatened mass arrests and violence against protestors.

[Read the full text of the letter here:]

For the 10s of thousands of people from Chicago, around the country and across the world who will gather here to protest against NATO and the G8, we demand that the City of Chicago:

1. Grant us permits to rally and march to the NATO/G8 summit
2. Guarantee our civil liberties
3. Guarantee us there will be no spying, infiltration of organizations or other attacks by the FBI or partner law enforcement agencies.


Supporter of Leak Suspect Is Called Before Grand Jury
June 15, 2011

A supporter of Pfc. Bradley E. Manning, who is accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of documents to WikiLeaks, was called before a federal grand jury in Alexandria, Va., on Wednesday, but he said he declined to answer any questions. The supporter, David M. House, a freelance computer scientist, said he invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, because he believes the Justice Department is "creating a climate of fear around WikiLeaks and the Bradley Manning support network." The grand jury inquiry is separate from the military prosecution of Private Manning and is believed to be exploring whether the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, or others in the group violated the law by acquiring and publishing military and State Department documents.


Justice for Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace: Decades of isolation in Louisiana state prisons must end
Take Action -- Sign Petition Here:

For nearly four decades, 64-year-old Albert Woodfox and 69-year-old Herman Wallace have been held in solitary confinement, mostly in the Louisiana State Penitentiary (known as Angola prison). Throughout their prolonged incarceration in Closed Cell Restriction (CCR) Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace have endured very restrictive conditions including 23 hour cellular confinement. They have limited access to books, newspapers and TV and throughout the years of imprisonment they have been deprived of opportunities for mental stimulation and access to work and education. Social interaction has been restricted to occasional visits from friends and family and limited telephone calls.

Louisiana prison authorities have over the course of 39 years failed to provide a meaningful review of the men's continued isolation as they continue to rubberstamp the original decision to confine the men in CCR. Decades of solitary confinement have had a clear psychological effect on the men. Lawyers report that they are both suffering from serious health problems caused or exacerbated by their years of close confinement.

After being held together in the same prison for nearly 40 years, the men are now held in seperate institutions where they continue to be subjected to conditions that can only be described as cruel, inhuman and degrading.
Take action now to demand that Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace be immediately removed from solitary confinement

Sign our petition which will be sent to the Governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, calling on him to:

-- take immediate steps to remove Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace from close confinement
-- ensure that their treatment complies with the USA's obligations under international standards and the US Constitution.




One year after Bradley's detainment, we need your support more than ever.

Dear Friends,

One year ago, on May 26, 2010, the U.S. government quietly arrested a humble young American intelligence analyst in Iraq and imprisoned him in a military camp in Kuwait. Over the coming weeks, the facts of the arrest and charges against this shy soldier would come to light. And across the world, people like you and I would step forward to help defend him.

Bradley Manning, now 23 years old, has never been to court but has already served a year in prison- including 10 months in conditions of confinement that were clear violation of the international conventions against torture. Bradley has been informally charged with releasing to the world documents that have revealed corruption by world leaders, widespread civilian deaths at the hands of U.S. forces, the true face of Guantanamo, an unvarnished view of the U.S.'s imperialistic foreign negotiations, and the murder of two employees of Reuters News Agency by American soldiers. These documents released by WikiLeaks have spurred democratic revolutions across the Arab world and have changed the face of journalism forever.

For his act of courage, Bradley Manning now faces life in prison-or even death.

But you can help save him-and we've already seen our collective power. Working together with concerned citizens around the world, the Bradley Manning Support Network has helped raise worldwide awareness about Manning's torturous confinement conditions. Through the collective actions of well over a half million people and scores of organizations, we successfully pressured the U.S. government to end the tortuous conditions of pre-trial confinement that Bradley was subjected to at the Marine Base at Quantico, Virginia. Today, Bradley is being treated humanely at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. T hanks to your support, Bradley is given leeway to interact with other pre-trial prisoners, read books, write letters, and even has a window in his cell.

Of course we didn't mount this campaign to just improve Bradley's conditions in jail. Our goal is to ensure that he can receive a fair and open trial. Our goal is to win Bradley's freedom so that he can be reunited with his family and fulfill his dream of going to college. Today, to commemorate Bradley's one year anniversary in prison, will you join me in making a donation to help support Bradley's defense?

We'll be facing incredible challenges in the coming months, and your tax-deductible donation today will help pay for Bradley's civilian legal counsel and the growing international grassroots campaign on his behalf. The U.S. government has already spent a year building its case against Bradley, and is now calling its witnesses to Virginia to testify before a grand jury.

What happens to Bradley may ripple through history - he is already considered by many to be the single most important person of his generation. Please show your commitment to Bradley and your support for whistle-blowers and the truth by making a donation today.

With your help, I hope we will come to remember May 26th as a day to commemorate all those who risk their lives and freedom to promote informed democracy - and as the birth of a movement that successfully defended one courageous whistle-blower against the full fury of the U.S. government.

Donate now:

In solidarity,

Jeff Paterson and Loraine Reitman,
On behalf of the Bradley Manning Support Network Steering Committee

P.S. After you have donated, please help us by forwarding this email to your closest friends. Ask them to stand with you to support Bradley Manning, and the rights of all whistleblowers.

View the new 90 second "I am Bradley Manning" video:

I am Bradley Manning

Courage to Resist
484 Lake Park Ave. #41
Oakland, CA 94610

"A Fort Leavenworth mailing address has been released for Bradley Manning:

Bradley Manning 89289
830 Sabalu Road
Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027

The receptionist at the military barracks confirmed that if someone sends Bradley Manning a letter to that address, it will be delivered to him."

This is also a Facebook event!/event.php?eid=207100509321891

Courage to Resist needs your support

Please donate today:

"Soldiers sworn oath is to defend and support the Constitution. Bradley Manning has been defending and supporting our Constitution."
-Dan Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistle-blower

Jeff Paterson
Project Director, Courage to Resist
First US military service member to refuse to fight in Iraq
Please donate today.

P.S. I'm asking that you consider a contribution of $50 or more, or possibly becoming a sustainer at $15 a month. Of course, now is also a perfect time to make a end of year tax-deductible donation. Thanks again for your support!

Please click here to forward this to a friend who might
also be interested in supporting GI resisters.


Drop the Charges Against Carlos Montes, Stop the FBI Attack on the Chicano and Immigrant Rights Movement, and Stop FBI Repression of Anti-War Activists NOW!Call Off the Expanding Grand Jury Witchhunt and FBI Repression of Anti-War Activists NOW!

Cancel the Subpoenas! Cancel the Grand Juries!
Condemn the FBI Raids and Harassment of Chicano, Immigrant Rights, Anti-War and International Solidarity Activists!

Initiated by the Committee to Stop FBI Repression

Contact the Committee to Stop FBI Repression

Committee to Stop FBI Repression
to Fitzgerald, Holder and Obama

The Grand Jury is still on its witch hunt and the FBI is still
harassing activists. This must stop.
Please make these calls:
1. Call U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald at 312-353-5300 . Then dial 0
(zero) for operator and ask to leave a message with the Duty Clerk.
2. Call U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder 202-353-1555
3. Call President Obama at 202-456-1111

FFI: Visit or email or call
612-379-3585 .
Copyright (c) 2011 Committee to Stop FBI Repression, All rights

Our mailing address is:
Committee to Stop FBI Repression
PO Box 14183
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Committee to Stop FBI Repression
P.O. Box 14183
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Please make a donation today at (PayPal) on the right side of your screen. Also you can write to:
Committee to Stop FBI Repression
P.O. Box 14183
Minneapolis, MN 55414

This is a critical time for us to stand together, defend free speech, and defend those who help to organize for peace and justice, both at home and abroad!

Thank you for your generosity! Tom Burke


Mumia Wins Decision Against Re-Imposition Of Death Sentence, But...
The Battle Is Still On To
The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
PO Box 16222 • Oakland CA 94610


Call for EMERGENCY RESPONSE Action if Assange Indicted,

Dear Friends:

We write in haste, trying to reach as many of you as possible although the holiday break has begun.......This plan for an urgent "The Day After" demonstration is one we hope you and many, many more organizations will take up as your own, and mobilize for. World Can't Wait asks you to do all you can to spread it through list serves, Facebook, twitter, holiday gatherings.

Our proposal is very very simple, and you can use the following announcement to mobilize - or write your own....


An emergency public demonstration THE DAY AFTER any U.S. criminal indictment is announced against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Spread the word and call people to come out, across the whole range of movements and groups: anti-war, human rights, freedom of information/freedom of the press, peace, anti-torture, environmental, students and youth, radicals and revolutionaries, religious, civil liberties, teachers and educators, journalists, anti-imperialists, anti-censorship, anti-police state......

At the Federal Building in San Francisco, we'll form ourselves into a human chain "surrounding" the government that meets the Wikileaked truth with repression and wants to imprison and silence leakers, whistleblowers and truthtellers - when, in fact, these people are heroes. We'll say:


New Federal Building, 7th and Mission, San Francisco (nearest BART: Civic Center)
4:00-6:00 PM on The Day FOLLOWING U.S. indictment of Assange

Bring all your friends - signs and banners - bullhorns.

Those who dare at great risk to themselves to put the truth in the hands of the people - and others who might at this moment be thinking about doing more of this themselves -- need to see how much they are supported, and that despite harsh repression from the government and total spin by the mainstream media, the people do want the truth told.

Brad Manning's Christmas Eve statement was just released by his lawyer: "Pvt. Bradley Manning, the lone soldier who stands accused of stealing millions of pages secret US government documents and handing them over to secrets outlet WikiLeaks, wants his supporters to know that they've meant a lot to him. 'I greatly appreciate everyone's support and well wishes during this time,' he said in a Christmas Eve statement released by his lawyer...." Read more here:

Demonstrations defending Wikileaks and Assange, and Brad Manning, have already been flowering around the world. Make it happen here too.
Especially here . . .

To join into this action plan, or with questions, contact World Can't Wait or whichever organization or listserve you received this message from.

World Can't Wait, SF Bay



Write to Lynne Stewart at:

Lynne Stewart #53504 - 054
Unit 2N
Federal Medical Center, Carswell
P.O. Box 27137
Fort Worth, TEXAS 76127

Visiting Lynne:

Visiting is very liberal but first she has to get people on her visiting list; wait til she or the lawyers let you know. The visits are FRI, SAT, SUN AND MON for 4 hours and on weekends 8 to 3. Bring clear plastic change purse with lots of change to buy from the machines. Brief Kiss upon arrival and departure, no touching or holding during visit (!!) On visiting forms it may be required that you knew me before I came to prison. Not a problem for most of you.

Commissary Money:

Commissary Money is always welcome It is how Lynne pay for the phone and for email. Also for a lot that prison doesn't supply in terms of food and "sundries" (pens!) (A very big list that includes Raisins, Salad Dressing, ankle sox, mozzarella (definitely not from Antonys--more like a white cheddar, Sanitas Corn Chips but no Salsa, etc. To add money, you do this by using Western Union and a credit card by phone or you can send a USPO money order or Business or Govt Check. The negotiable instruments (PAPER!) need to be sent to Federal Bureau of Prisons, 53504-054, Lynne Stewart, PO Box 474701, Des Moines Iowa 50947-001 (Payable to Lynne Stewart, 53504-054) They hold the mo or checks for 15 days. Western Union costs $10 but is within 2 hours. If you mail, your return address must be on the envelope. Unnecessarily complicated? Of course, it's the BOP !)

The address of her Defense Committee is:

Lynne Stewart Defense Committee
1070 Dean Street
Brooklyn, New York 11216
For further information:
718-789-0558 or 917-853-9759

Please make a generous contribution to her defense.



Reasonable doubts about executing Kevin Cooper
Chronicle Editorial
Monday, December 13, 2010

Death penalty -- Kevin Cooper is Innocent! Help save his life from San Quentin's death row!

- From Amnesty International USA
17 December 2010
Click here to take action online:

To learn about recent Urgent Action successes and updates, go to

For a print-friendly version of this Urgent Action (PDF):


Short Video About Al-Awda's Work
The following link is to a short video which provides an overview of Al-Awda's work since the founding of our organization in 2000. This video was first shown on Saturday May 23, 2009 at the fundraising banquet of the 7th Annual Int'l Al-Awda Convention in Anaheim California. It was produced from footage collected over the past nine years.
Support Al-Awda, a Great Organization and Cause!

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, depends on your financial support to carry out its work.

To submit your tax-deductible donation to support our work, go to and follow the simple instructions.

Thank you for your generosity!


D. ARTICLES IN FULL (Unless otherwise noted)


1) Amid Protests by Students and Others, CUNY Trustees Vote to Raise Tuition
November 28, 2011

2) Millions of British Public Sector Workers Take to the Streets in Historic General Strike
November 30, 2011

3) Police Clear Occupy Encampments in Two Cities
November 30, 2011

4) Lines Grow Long for Free School Meals, Thanks to Economy
[Not only are our kids not going to earn nearly as much as their parents, they are now starving...BW]
November 29, 2011

5) Britons Strike as Government Extends Austerity Measures
November 30, 2011

6) Iraq Would Accept U.S. Soldiers as Trainers
[Trainers/Advisers: Where have we heard this before? Hint: Kennedy, Vietnam?!?!?]
November 30, 2011

7) #OccupyWallSt Roundup, Day 74
November 30, 2011, 2:12 pm

8) A Banker Speaks, With Regret
"...some account executives earned a commission seven times higher from subprime loans, rather than prime mortgages. So they looked for less savvy borrowers - those with less education, without previous mortgage experience, or without fluent English - and nudged them toward subprime loans."
November 30, 2011

9) Camps Are Cleared, but '99 Percent' Still Occupies the Lexicon
"You can't evict an idea."
November 30, 2011

10) Districts Pay Less in Poor Schools, Report Says
November 30, 2011

11) In Police Trial, Ruling Urges Firing of Detective in Sean Bell Case
November 30, 2011

12) Signs of Hope in Jobs Report; Unemployment Drops to 8.6%
"American governments at all levels continued to bleed workers, for one. And the decline in the unemployment rate had a down side: It fell partly because more workers got jobs, but also because about 315,000 workers dropped out of the labor force. That left the share of Americans actively participating in the work force at a historically depressed 64 percent, down from 64.2 percent in October. Even excluding these hundreds of thousands of dropouts, the country still had a backlog of more than 13 million unemployed workers, whose spells of unemployment averaged an all-time high of 40.9 weeks. 'They say businesses are refusing to look at résumés from the unemployed,' said Esther Perry, 59, of Bedford, Mass., who participated in a recent report on unemployed workers put together by USAction, a liberal coalition. 'What do you think my chances are? Once unemployment runs out, I don't know what I will do.' Even those who are employed are in fragile positions. Average hourly earnings fell 0.1 percent in November, and a Labor Department report released Wednesday found that the share of national income going to labor was at an all-time low last quarter."
December 2, 2011

13) Killing the Euro
December 1, 2011

14) Learning Too Late of Perils in Gas Well Leases
December 1, 2011

15) For Jobless, Little Hope of Restoring Better Days
"Even though the Labor Department is expected to report on Friday that employers added more than 100,000 jobs in November, a new study shows just how rare people like Ms. Mowery are. According to the study, to be released Friday by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers, just 7 percent of those who lost jobs after the financial crisis have returned to or exceeded their previous financial position and maintained their lifestyles. The vast majority say they have diminished lifestyles, and about 15 percent say the reduction in their incomes has been drastic and will probably be permanent."
December 1, 2011


1) Amid Protests by Students and Others, CUNY Trustees Vote to Raise Tuition
November 28, 2011

With a raucous protest outside summoning all of the volume, but not the violence, of a similar clash last week, City University trustees approved on Monday a series of $300 annual tuition increases that will extend through 2015.

The first of those increases, to $5,130, already took effect this year. The board's 15-to-1 vote will raise tuition for undergraduates at CUNY's four-year colleges to $6,330 in 2015-16, with about $500 a year in additional fees. The State University system's trustees recently approved a set of parallel increases.

Hundreds of students at Baruch College in Manhattan took to the street outside the building where the board met, chanting "Abolish the board of trustees" and "CUNY must be free," banging drums and waving signs, and protesting that students could not afford an increase that will reach 31 percent over five years.

They were joined by a large contingent of professors and scattered supporters from labor unions and other groups.

Anticipating the protest, Baruch had canceled Monday classes in the building after 3 p.m., and prohibited routine foot traffic in and out.

Last week, the board's hearing on the proposed tuition increases drew a similar response. Protesters scuffled with university security forces and New York police officers, and 15 were arrested. The Police Department said that three people were arrested in the demonstration on Monday.

Inside, on the 14th floor of Baruch's William and Anita Newman Vertical Campus Building, the trustees and the CUNY chancellor, Matthew Goldstein, said they had little choice but to raise tuition, to compensate for sharply lowered support from the state in recent years.

Dr. Goldstein said the increase was intended, in part, for "the protection of our faculty and staff from the kinds of layoffs that other public higher education systems have experienced in recent years," which he said would be unavoidable otherwise. He also said he would ask an outside expert, as yet unidentified, to review the handling of the demonstration last week.

Protesters insisted either that CUNY has the money in its budget to avoid raising tuition, or that it had not pushed back hard enough against lawmakers in Albany who reduced state support. Many cast their arguments in terms of race or class, arguing that the trustees were out of touch with the student body, which is heavily made up of low-income and minority students.

"The board of trustees are mostly successful business people, and they're basically trying to run a public institution as a business, which it is not," said Jamie Yancovitz, 23, a student at CUNY's Graduate Center in Manhattan. "They don't get what it's like for us."

Barbara Bowen, president of the university's Professional Staff Congress, called the increases "a failed budget strategy," adding that "a long-term plan for state and city investment would make much more sense."

About 100 people were allowed into the board meeting, and at least one was escorted out after disrupting the session.

CUNY will remain far less expensive than most public university systems around the country, which average $8,240 in tuition and fees in 2011, according to the College Board. The contrast with other schools in the Northeast is especially stark; tuition and fees run to $6,306 or more this year at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, $8,874 at the University of Connecticut, and $12,755 at Rutgers.

In addition, university officials said that by using both state and federal aid, 44 percent of CUNY undergraduates paid no tuition at all. The trustees approved $5 million in new aid to offset the tuition increase for the poorest students.

CUNY did not charge tuition until the 1970s. Since the mid-1990s, it has raised its prices much less quickly than the typical university, public or private.

Tuition at both CUNY and SUNY must be approved by the State Legislature, and until recently, lawmakers were loath to approve increases. As a result, both systems sometimes went years without raising tuition, followed by sudden increases of up to 30 percent.

Last summer, the Legislature and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo enacted a law that allows the public universities to raise tuition by $300 a year for five years.

Alice Speri contributed reporting.


2) Millions of British Public Sector Workers Take to the Streets in Historic General Strike
November 30, 2011

In Britain, up to two million workers have marched in the streets during the largest mass protest in generations. Teachers, hospital staff, garbage collectors, firefighters and border guards are participating in a 24-hour strike organized by a coalition of 30 trade unions. About a thousand demonstrations and rallies are being held across the country. Public sector workers say proposed pension "reforms" will force them pay more and work for longer before they can retire. We go to London to speak with Richard Seymour, who writes of Britain's most popular blogs, "Lenin's Tomb." Seymour examines how the Murdoch-owned conservative press has shaped coverage of workers' rights even as it faces fallout from the latest developments in the phone hacking scandal. "Rupert Murdoch's ideological power, his ability to project an image of these strikes as unnecessary, as militant, as aggressive and belligerent and so on and so forth, comes from his economic power, and he spent decades building that up in the U.K.," Seymour notes. He also discusses how the U.K. has withdrawn diplomatic staff from Iran after protesters upset over newly implemented sanctions stormed the British Embassy in Tehran, overrunning the diplomatic buildings, chanting "Death to Britain."

AMY GOODMAN: I'm Amy Goodman with Democracy Now!'s Nermeen Shaikh.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Thank you so much, Amy, and welcome to our listeners and viewers around the country and around the world. In Britain, 2 million workers are in the streets today participating in the largest mass protest in generations. Teachers, hospital staff, garbage collectors, firefighters, and border guards are participating in the 24-hour strike. A coalition of 30 trade unions have organized approximately 1000 demonstrations and rallies across the country. Picket lines are anticipated to spring up around public buildings and hospitals during the day. On Monday, airlines said they were were cutting flights into the London Heathrow Europe's busiest airport because of fears of long delays and overcrowding due to the strike. The airport workers are part of the approximately 2 million public sector workers opposed to reforms that unions say will force them to pay more for their pensions and work for longer before they retire. Paul Cottrell of the University and College Union explained why he supports the strike.

PAUL COTTRELL: Well, the fact is that the public sector workers have already made a big contribution. For example, at the moment, most of them have had a wage freeze for several years while the cost of living has been increasing. Also, the government has already reduced the value of their pensions. So, we feel that if there is an argument for the public sector making any contribution, as there is for the private sector and for the rich in society, we feel that our members have done their bit and enough is enough.

AMY GOODMAN: Meanwhile, Prime Minister David Cameron has condemned the strike as irresponsible and urged unions to continue talking as negotiations on pensions run until the end of the year. The Conservative led coalition government also said reform is needed as people are living longer and public service pensions are unaffordable. Yesterday, the British government announced another dose of austerity. Finance Minister George Osborne said pay raises for public sector workers, already under a two-year freeze, would be capped at 1% from 2013, while job losses would shoot up to 710,000 from an original estimate of 400,000. For more we go, right now, to London to speak with Richard Seymour, one of Britain's most popular bloggers. His blog is called, Lenin's Tomb. Richard, welcome to Democracy Now!. This is the largest mass protest in generations. Talk about its significance.

RICHARD SEYMOUR: Right, well, first of all, the important thing to recognize is that Britain is not like the continent. We don't have strikes like this on a regular basis. France does, Greece does, Britain doesn't. This is the largest strike in British history since 1926, which was a general strike. So, that is the significance of this and it means it will have a much greater political impact in the United Kingdom than it would have in its continental counterparts. The other thing is that, a year ago, things looked very different. If you go back to the summer of 2010, you find a very somber mood among trade unionists. There was an invitation to David Cameron, even, to speak at the Trade Union Congress. There was no talk of mass strikes taking place. But, the deal in which David Cameron was coming to speak at Congress was scuppered due to the anger of ordinary rank and file trade unionists. Subsequently, the Congress itself was a very angry affair in which trade union leaders felt pressured to actually organize some sort of response to the cuts. In October, I think, they came up with the idea of having a March, a big trade union march by March 26. At the time, it was seen as too little, too late. But, in the interim, very importantly, there was the student movement, and the student movement just came out of nowhere. It flew up like a rocket, proverbially, and basically, made a huge amount of difference in terms of the arguments that were going on within the trade union movement because it cut away at some of the pessimism and despair that ordinary people felt that they couldn't challenge these cuts. So when the march actually happened, it was one of the largest trade union marches and British history. It was 500,000 strong, it represented every sector of the British working-class movement. And when trade union and leaders like Mark Serwotka of the PCS Union, Civil Service Union, stood up and said, if we can march together, we can strike together, people listened and applauded. I think, I believe his speech was one of the most popular of the day. And that was the basis for the pressure to have this sort of strike action.

On June 30th, there was a large scale strike held by some of the smaller, more militant unions, that are not affiliated to Labor Party. And that put--the success of that strike on that day--put more pressure on the leaders of the larger unions, which are affiliated to the Labor Party and which have consequently been far more reluctant to call strike action. That's how we got where we are today, and that's the significance of this. The other thing, of course, is the fact that the government hasn't really been negotiating. In fact, it seems to have been remarkably insouciant about the possibilities of provoking opposition. You mentioned in your report the escalation of the austerity measures that are being proposed. In addition to the wage cuts, they're talking about transforming wage bargaining fundamentally by making it responsible to regional wage market conditions. That means that basically, if you're a public sector worker in Manchester you'll probably find your wages much lower than they are in London. And the ostensible rationale for this is to make things easier for the private sector, because they say that at the moment, high public sector wages crowds out cut the private sector. So, this is a fairly drastic restructuring, all in all of the whole British economy. And I have to be honest, the last time this was done it was by an administration, Thatcher administration, which was far more aware of the possible dangers of tempting its opponents, provoking its opponents. That Government came to power and adopted a strategy of salami-slicing its opponents. Starting by taking on the weaker unions, conceding to the larger unions at first, racking up a number of defeats inflicted on the weaker unions, and only then going after one of the stronger unions, known colloquially as the big battalions of the labor movement. And only then did they take on the miners and the print workers and defeat them. So, this Government seems to be walking into this fight really without much of a sign of care. But it may be complacency.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Richard Seymour, can you say little about how this strike has affected the position of the Labor Party? You mentioned earlier how they've been responding to unions. How have their positions changed, if at all, in response to the strike?

RICHARD SEYMOUR: Well, the first thing to say is that the Labor Party has never--at least the Labor leadership has never supported strikes. So, it would be a rare departure if they decided they were going to support this one. However, very noticeably they have changed their tone. At the conference, at the Labor Party conference, after Ed Miliband was elected as the leader, he made a very big show of saying that the public would not support these strikes and he wouldn't have any trouble with them, either. Recently, it's been a very different story. You've started to see senior labor figures such as Alan Johnson who is--used to be a minister. He's a very prominent right-wing member of the Labor Party, in many ways a Blairite. But, he said that the unions had every right to strike over this. If they couldn't strike over an issue as important as this, then what could they strike over? Ed Balls, the Shadow Chancellor felt compelled to express his huge sympathy with the strikers in an interview with The Independent on Sunday. And Ed Miliband, although he adopted a fairly basic tone, typically saying that both sides should get around the table and saying that strikes are a sign of failure and therefore he could never support one, nonetheless, he did say something different. He didn't blame the strikers as such, he blamed the government. He mainly put the blame for the situation on the government.

Now, the problem for the Labor Party is this, they know that if they were in government, they would be doing many of the same policies because they don't have a coherent alternative growth strategy to the Tories. They believe essentially the same thing. You've got to cut the deficit in order to restore the confidence of the financial sector. You've got to privatize at a much more rapid rate, and you've got to gradually cut public spending in quite a systematic and structural way. And because they believe those things, it's very difficult for them to criticize the Tories on any issue of principle. For that reason the only real criticism that they have been able to come up with is the fact that the Tories have not negotiated properly. And their argument is that if they were in power they would negotiate better and secure an agreement and we wouldn't see all these strikes. But, essentially they've been negotiating to impose a version of what the Tories are actually proposing. So, they're in a weak position, because that means that they can't capitalize on the quite widespread dissatisfaction with the government that exists at the moment.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk for a minute about the media that has covered this? It goes to the issue of the phone hacking scandal as well, because there hasn't been a lot in the news lately about the Murdoch empire. But in Britain, of course, it's all over. The latest news, The Guardian reporting the London Metropolitan Police are investigating whether private detectives are working for News Corp., hacked into the computers of government officials responsible for Northern Ireland. The study alleges detectives working for News International, News Corp's U.K. publishing arm hacked into the computer of Peter Hain, a military police officer and the former Northern Ireland Secretary, and those of other Northern Ireland agents containing--the computers containing sensitive intelligence information. And of course there's more revelations about this as well that came out in a British parliamentary inquiry on Tuesday. Paul McMullen, a former Deputy Features Editor at the now shuddered News of the World admitted he and colleagues hacked into people's phones, paid police officers for tips, also said he hid in the unmarked vans outside people's houses, stole confidential documents, went through celebrity garbage cans, lied about his identity in pursuit of a story. Talk about all of the latest with this.

RICHARD SEYMOUR: Well, it is quite a list that's building up. The Murdoch press represents a faction of hard right political and economic power in the United Kingdom. You can see the way in which this works. We've never really seen it laid out to this extent before. But, you can see the way that this works on a cultural level, in terms of how they bully and bribe and cajole celebrities, at a political level in terms of the way they form relationships with with senior government ministers, but at the same time develop certain channels through which they can blackmail them or in some way threaten them with exposure. We've seen that they've developed relationships with the Metropolitan Police and even with members of the judiciary. In fact, I think you would find that Lord Levison, who's the one running this inquiry, has himself been quite close to the Murdoch clan. So, there is a network of class power there. And what I would want to say about that is that this really was built up. I mean, Rupert Murdoch's ideological power, his ability to project an image of these strikes as unnecessary, as militant, as aggressive and belligerent and so on and so forth, comes from his economic power, and he spent decades building that up in the UK. He started by buying popular Social Democratic papers like The sun, for example, had previously been a trade union paper called the Daily Harold--boarded it up, kept it as a letter supporting paper for a while. And then, when he had turned it into a popular newspaper, he turned it also into Thatcherite newspaper. I think you find the same pattern with his media acquisitions in the United States. For example, Fox. He started out by putting popular content out such as The Simpsons, and then when he'd acquired the market, he started pushing, very hard, this hard right news agenda. That's how Murdoch does it. What's really happening now is that these revelations are dealing a quite devastating blow to his economic and commercial power, and thus potentially his ideological power in the United Kingdom.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: That may well be true, Richard, what you say, but in terms of criminal prosecution or charges being pressed against Murdoch or any of the senior people who were involved in the phone hacking scandal, it doesn't seem that that that's happened.

RICHARD SEYMOUR: No, indeed. But then, I don't think that was planned or expected. That probably is a bit more likely on your side of the Atlantic. The fact of the matter is, public inquiries have a historic function as a kind of therapy for the ruling class in the United Kingdom. It's to slow down the pace of revelations and bring it under a manageable process. At the end of it, they'll propose some recommendations, policy recommendations, which may or may not be taken up by the government. But it's not a process which is leading necessarily to prosecutions. Of course, that all depends on what comes out, how will the Murdoch's can defend themselves. But, yes, you're right, so far, no sign of very senior people, at least, being sent to jail.

AMY GOODMAN: And finally, this latest news out of Iran, the British government withdrawing a portion of the diplomatic staff after Iranian protesters--not clear who they were--stormed the British Embassy in Tehran, overrunning the diplomatic buildings, chanting "Death to Britain." Richard Seymour?

RICHARD SEYMOUR: I think that we have to understand this in the context of the geopolitics. There are elements in the British government that really went to a war with Iran. That's come out recently with the connections between Liam Fox who was the Defense Minister and a very hard right, neoconservative, atlanticist, pro-Israel, and a fellow called Adam Werritty, who was a friend of his and who coordinated among all these atlanticist and pro-Zionist organizations. It seems that they were lobbying quite hard for an attack on Iran, and I think quite clear that there are elements within the government who would like to escalate some sort of situation. The constant application of pressure--recently the publication of harsher sanctions-is, I think, is intended to provoke a certain sort of gestures from Iran. I'm not sure that these riots had anything to do the Iranian government, but I'm saying that the British government is spoiling for a fight. It does seem very strange that would be the case, because after Iraq it would seem like a suicidal gamble. But, they do seem to be urgently seeking to have a fight with somebody,and I think Iran is the candidate.

AMY GOODMAN: Richard Seymour, I want to thank you for being with us. One of Britain's most popular bloggers, based in London, blogs at Lenin's Tomb. He is author of The Liberal Defense of Murder and The Meaning of David Cameron. This is Democracy Now!. When we come back, we're going to Occupy L.A. and Occupy Philadelphia. In L.A., more than a thousand riot police dismantled the encampment there.


3) Police Clear Occupy Encampments in Two Cities
November 30, 2011

LOS ANGELES - The police broke up large Occupy encampments in Los Angeles and Philadelphia early on Wednesday, arresting hundreds of protesters who had been camped out for the past two months.

Around 12:30 a.m. in Los Angeles, scores of police officers raided the Occupy camp that had been set up in a park around City Hall, leading most of the protesters to scramble out of their tents and gather in large groups in the surrounding streets.

When the raid ended several hours later, the police said they had arrested about 200 people. But as dawn approached, officers fired bean bag rounds to try to coax down some protesters who had climbed trees. It was not immediately clear if their actions caused injuries.

After much of the park around City Hall had been cleared of what had grown into a colorful - if sometimes squalid - camp of several hundred tents, Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa told reporters that he was proud of the way the police had performed, in particular employing force only as a last resort.

"I said that here in L.A. we'd chart a different path, and we did," he said. "In my life, I have never seen a more professional, restrained police force." The police department here, with a longstanding reputation for its use of aggressive tactics, said there had been only two episodes that had involved "minor force" and that the protesters had handled themselves admirably.

Some 1,400 officers had been called in for the operation, more than for any event since the Democratic National Convention in 2000, the authorities said.

But while the police and city officials said the raid had been conducted as peacefully as possible, some protesters said they had watched officers throw demonstrators to the ground and beat back people with batons.

On Wednesday in Philadelphia, police officers raided the city's nearly two-month-old encampment at Dilworth Plaza, adjacent to City Hall, at about 1 a.m. - more than two days after a city-imposed deadline for the protesters to leave. A police spokeswoman said that at least 50 people had been arrested and that three officers had sustained minor injuries.

City officials, which until the past week or so, had a cordial relationship with the demonstrators - even supplying them with electricity - said they wanted them to move so that the city could embark on a long-planned construction project at the plaza.

As was the case in Los Angeles, once officers arrived in force Wednesday, the protesters took to the streets. The police trailed them for hours, seeking to avoid confrontations, but eventually called in mounted units to help cordon off demonstrators.

"We followed them around Center City all night long and finally arrested some of them," Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey told reporters.

Mr. Villaraigosa in Los Angeles had also given protesters a Monday deadline, but city officials said they had given demonstrators extra time to leave to avoid making arrests. That strategy appeared to have worked, as the camp, by Wednesday morning, had shrunk to about 250 tents, roughly half of what it was at its peak, the police said.

But the protesters who remained appeared to be far more angry and agitated then they had been two days earlier.

Richard Finefrock, 45, who said he had been living at the camp for one month, said the police had not been as careful as they might have been. Several witnesses said they carelessly dismantled tents, tearing them and breaking the poles that held them up.

"A lot of people got trampled, a lot of people got hurt, but basically they were saying, 'You're leaving' and they got us out," he said.

By 3 a.m. the area around City Hall was generally quiet - the camp had mostly been cleared and the police were focusing on a few protesters who had climbed up trees.

The park itself was a sea of collapsed tents and litter. Several protesters who had linked arms in a circle were being carried out by officers.

Mr. Villaraigosa arrived just as the last protesters were being evicted.

"We have taken a measured approach to enforcing the park closure because we have wanted to give people every opportunity to leave peacefully," he said.

At moments, the differences in the cultures of the protesters and the police were drawn so sharply as to be comedic.

At one point, a young man told a riot police officer: "If you give me a hug, I will leave right now."

They officer responded: "Are you serious?"

"Yes," the protester said.

The exchange continued, but the officer walked away without giving a hug.

Another protester, who had been watching, said to the officer, "He's offering you a hug to leave right now, how can you do that?"

Afterward, when asked his name, the man who had asked for a hug said: "My name is 'Occupy.' "

Ian Lovett contributed reporting from Los Angeles, and Brian Stelter and Timothy Williams contributed reporting from New York.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: November 30, 2011

An earlier version of this article misspelled the surname of one of the protesters in Los Angeles. It is Richard Finefrock, not Finefrocl.


4) Lines Grow Long for Free School Meals, Thanks to Economy
[Not only are our kids not going to earn nearly as much as their parents, they are now starving...BW]
November 29, 2011

Millions of American schoolchildren are receiving free or low-cost meals for the first time as their parents, many once solidly middle class, have lost jobs or homes during the economic crisis, qualifying their families for the decades-old safety-net program.

The number of students receiving subsidized lunches rose to 21 million last school year from 18 million in 2006-7, a 17 percent increase, according to an analysis by The New York Times of data from the Department of Agriculture, which administers the meals program. Eleven states, including Florida, Nevada, New Jersey and Tennessee, had four-year increases of 25 percent or more, huge shifts in a vast program long characterized by incremental growth.

The Agriculture Department has not yet released data for September and October.

"These are very large increases and a direct reflection of the hardships American families are facing," said Benjamin Senauer, a University of Minnesota economist who studies the meals program, adding that the surge had happened so quickly "that people like myself who do research are struggling to keep up with it."

In Sylva, N.C., layoffs at lumber and paper mills have driven hundreds of new students into the free lunch program. In Las Vegas, where the collapse of the construction industry has caused hardship, 15,000 additional students joined the subsidized lunch program this fall. In Rochester, unemployed engineers and technicians have signed up their children after the downsizing of Kodak and other companies forced them from their jobs. Many of these formerly middle-income parents have pleaded with school officials to keep their enrollment a secret.

Students in families with incomes up to 130 percent of the poverty level - or $29,055 for a family of four - are eligible for free school meals. Children in a four-member household with income up to $41,348 qualify for a subsidized lunch priced at 40 cents.

Among the first to call attention to the increases were Department of Education officials who use subsidized lunch rates as a poverty indicator in federal testing. This month, in releasing results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, they noted that the proportion of the nation's fourth graders enrolled in the lunch program had climbed to 52 percent from 49 percent in 2009, crossing a symbolic watershed.

In the Rockdale County Schools in Conyers, Ga., east of Atlanta, the percentage of students receiving subsidized lunches increased to 63 percent this year from 46 percent in 2006.

"We're seeing people who were never eligible before, never had a need," said Peggy Lawrence, director of school nutrition.

One of those is Sheila Dawson, a Wal-Mart saleswoman whose husband lost his job as the manager of a Waffle House last year, reducing their income by $45,000. "We're doing whatever we can to save money," said Ms. Dawson, who has a 15-year-old daughter. "We buy clothes at the thrift store, we see fewer movies and this year my daughter qualifies for reduced-price lunch."

She added, "I feel like: 'Hey, we were paying taxes all these years. This is what they were for.' "

Although the troubled economy is the main factor in the increases, experts said, some growth at the margins has resulted from a new way of qualifying students for the subsidized meals, known as direct certification. In 2004, Congress required the nation's 17,000 school districts to match student enrollment lists against records of local food-stamp agencies, directly enrolling those who receive food stamps for the meals program. The number of districts doing so has been rising - as have the number of school-age children in families eligible for food stamps, to 14 million in 2010-11 from 12 million in 2009-10.

"The concern of those of us involved in the direct certification effort is how to help all these districts deal with the exploding caseload of kids eligible for the meals," said Kevin Conway, a project director at Mathematica Policy Research, a co-author of an October report to Congress on direct certification.

Congress passed the National School Lunch Act in 1946 to support commodity prices after World War II by reducing farm surpluses while providing food to schoolchildren. By 1970, the program was providing 22 million lunches on an average day, about a fifth of them subsidized. Since then, the subsidized portion has grown while paid lunches have declined, but not since 1972 have so many additional children become eligible for free lunches as in fiscal year 2010, 1.3 million. Today it is a $10.8 billion program providing 32 million lunches, 21 million of which are free or at reduced price.

All 50 states have shown increases, according to Agriculture Department data. In Florida, which has 2.6 million public school students, an additional 265,000 students have become eligible for subsidies since 2007, with increases in virtually every district.

"Growth has been across the board," said Mark Eggers, the Florida Department of Education official who oversees the lunch program.

In Tennessee, the number of students receiving subsidized meals has grown 37 percent since 2007.

"When a factory closes, our school districts see a big increase," said Sarah White, the state director of school nutrition.

In Las Vegas, with 13.6 percent unemployment, the enrollment of thousands of new students in the subsidized lunch program forced the Clark County district to add an extra shift at the football field-size central kitchen, said Virginia Beck, an assistant director at the school food service.

In Roseville, Minn., an inner-ring St. Paul suburb, the proportion of subsidized lunch students rose to 44 percent this fall from 29 percent in 2006-7, according to Dr. Senauer, the economist. "There's a lot of hurt in the suburbs," he said. "It's the new face of poverty."

In New York, the Gates Chili school district west of Rochester has lost 700 students since 2007-8, as many families have fled the area after mass layoffs. But over those same four years, the subsidized lunch program has added 125 mouths, many of them belonging to the children of Kodak and Xerox managers and technicians who once assumed they had a lifetime job, said Debbi Beauvais, district supervisor of the meals program.

"Parents signing up children say, 'I never thought a program like this would apply to me and my kids,' " Ms. Beauvais said.

Many large urban school districts have for years been dominated by students poor enough to qualify for subsidized lunches. In Dallas, Newark and Chicago, for instance, about 85 percent of students are eligible, and most schools also offer free breakfasts. Now, some places have added free supper programs, fearing that needy students otherwise will go to bed hungry.

One is the Hickman Mills C-1 district in a threadbare Kansas City, Mo., neighborhood where a Home Depot, a shopping mall and a string of grocery stores have closed.

Ten years ago, 48 percent of its students qualified for subsidized lunches. By 2007, that proportion had increased to 73 percent, said Leah Schmidt, the district's nutrition director. Last year, when it hit 80 percent, the district started feeding 700 students a third meal, paid for by the state, each afternoon when classes end.

"This is the neediest period I've seen in my 20-year career," Ms. Schmidt said.

Robbie Brown and Kimberley McGee contributed reporting.


5) Britons Strike as Government Extends Austerity Measures
November 30, 2011

LONDON - Public sector workers on Wednesday began Britain's biggest strike in a generation to protest austerity measures, a day after the British government said that it was falling behind with its deficit-reduction plan and that the measures would drag on for two more years.

Courts, schools, hospitals, airports and government offices could all be hit by the strike, which has come to be seen as an emblem of resistance to government plans to squeeze public-sector pensions and cut government spending to reduce debt.

"We are here to defend our pensions," Alistair Cunningham, who works for the British Treasury, said as he joined other strikers at a protest rally along The Strand in central London, one of hundreds of demonstrations across the land. "All we want to defend is what is in our contractual right. The crisis was caused by bankers and the public services are an easy target."

Education authorities across Britain said thousands of schools had closed because teachers were on strike, and many parents had taken a day off from work to look after children.

The stoppage was billed as the most extensive in decades, mirroring the turmoil in the debt-plagued euro zone across the English Channel and offering a reminder of the potential social and political impact of the financial crisis seizing much of Europe. While Britain is not part of the single European currency, it is a member of the European Union and relies on the continent for much of its trade.

The chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said on Tuesday that because of the slowdown in the euro zone, British economic growth this year and next would be slower than forecast in March and "debt will not fall as fast as we'd hoped."

He added that Britain could avoid a recession next year only if the euro zone found a solution to its crisis.

"We'll do whatever we can to protect Britain from this debt storm," Mr. Osborne told a packed Parliament. "If the rest of Europe heads into a recession, it may be hard to avoid one here in the U.K."

News reports on Wednesday spoke of picket lines being set up outside public buildings while workers planned rallies and demonstrations across Britain. Some of the first workers to strike were in Liverpool, where tunnels under the River Mersey were closed. But the overall level of participation remained unclear.

Some routes into London, normally clogged with commuter traffic and cars ferrying children to school, were virtually deserted as the strike began.

Medical officials said up to 60,000 nonurgent hospital procedures - from surgery to outpatient visits - were postponed because of the strike. But airport operators said that two Britain's two biggest airports - Heathrow and Gatwick near London - were functioning with relatively little delay because many border service personnel had not joined the strike and were being assisted by other government officials to inspect the passports of arriving passengers.

The airports had been an early focus of worries that travelers could be delayed by up to 12 hours.

"Immigration queues are currently at normal levels," BAA, the leading airport operator, said. In addition to drafting in support staff, the operator had also asked airlines to restrict the number of passengers booked on flights.

"However, there still remains a possibility for delays for arriving passengers later in the day," BAA said.

The company operating Eurostar, the high-speed train using the Channel tunnel, had urged passengers to be prepared for delays. But, by midmorning, a Eurostar spokeswoman said, "everything is fine, with no delays or cancellations."

At the weekly parliamentary session devoted to questions to the prime minister, the strike provoked fierce exchanges between Prime Minister David Cameron and the Labour opposition leader, Ed Miliband, who accused the government of secretly welcoming the walkout.

"I don't want to see any strikes," Mr. Cameron said. "I don't want to see our schools closed. I don't want to see problems on our borders."

He called the strike "something of a damp squib," but acknowledged that it had forced the closure of 60 percent of British schools. He also said that "less than a third" of civil service employees were on strike.

Mr. Miliband said that the prime minister's economic policies to deal with debt had not worked. "The truth is: his plan has failed, and he is making working families pay the price."

Union leaders have said that more than two million people, including teachers and other government employees, are expected to go on strike, according to the Trades Union Congress.

In Parliament on Tuesday, Mr. Osborne called on the unions to reconsider the strike action and return to the negotiating table, asking why they were "putting jobs at risk."

"Call off the strike," he said.

But Len McCluskey, general secretary of the trade union Unite, criticized Mr. Osborne's economic strategy and compared him to "a pilot who has put his plane into a tailspin and is now wrestling desperately with the controls as the aircraft rapidly loses height."

The government said British households, which are already squeezed by higher food and electricity prices, would have to endure an additional two years of austerity measures, now until 2017. The economy is growing slower than forecast, hurting chancellor Osborne's initial 2010 plan to eliminate the budget deficit within five years.

It would also require Britain to borrow an additional £111 billion, or $172 billion, through 2015, a step Mr. Osborne was eager to avoid. The austerity measures would now drag on far beyond the next general election, currently scheduled for 2015.

The British economy will grow 0.9 percent this year, less than the 1.7 percent predicted earlier, and 0.7 percent next year, the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast Tuesday. The agency predicted that the economy would then pick up and grow 2.1 percent in 2013. Debt as a share of gross domestic product would peak at 78 percent in the fiscal year ending in 2015, higher than the 71 percent initially predicted.

Amid fierce criticism from the opposition Labour Party, Mr. Osborne said Tuesday that he would stick to his austerity plan, which includes more than 600,000 job cuts in the public sector and other spending curbs, but that it would still take longer for the debt load to shrink.

Because of that, the government said it would cap pay increases for public sector workers at 1 percent for two years after the end of the current pay freeze.

The step was part of a small set of measures presented Tuesday, which also includes an increase in a bank tax, to generate extra revenue to invest in infrastructure projects and to fight youth unemployment.

But it added to the anger of workers' representatives, who said the government was now not only "raiding" pensions but wages as well.

Howard Archer, chief economist for Britain at IHS Global Insight, said Mr. Osborne lacked the room to maneuver to offer any investments or tax cuts that could help the economic recovery.

"The economy is staring recession in the face again; he has no money to spend and events in the euro zone pose major downside risks over which he has no control," Mr. Archer said.

But Mr. Osborne argued that an early adoption of the deficit plan last year helped Britain to keep its borrowing costs low and avoid problems faced by Greece or Italy, where borrowing costs became unsustainable.

Unlike the United States or the members of the euro zone, Britain already has a far-reaching austerity plan along with interest rates at record-low levels. It also has its own currency, which helps keep British exports to the euro zone relatively inexpensive.


6) Iraq Would Accept U.S. Soldiers as Trainers
[Trainers/Advisers: Where have we heard this before? Hint: Kennedy, Vietnam?!?!?]
November 30, 2011

BAGHDAD - Iraq's prime minister indicated on Wednesday that he was open to the eventual return of American troops as trainers, underscoring that the United States is likely to be involved in this country's security even after the last soldiers depart in the coming weeks.

"No doubt, the U.S. forces have a role in providing training of Iraqi forces," said Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki after meeting Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who is here to mark the withdrawal and to inaugurate a new phase in ties between the United States and Iraq.

Mr. Maliki insisted that Iraq could provide for its internal security. And he made much of Iraq's desire to build a relationship with the United States as a sovereign country, dealing with Washington on the basis of national interest and "mutual respect."

But his comments suggested that for all the solemn pageantry of a long war ending, there is likely to be considerable continuity in the security relationship between the United States and Iraq, as it struggles to contain terrorist attacks by insurgent groups.

Mr. Biden reaffirmed that the two countries would maintain a "robust security relationship," adding that it was up to the Iraqis to decide "what you think that relationship should be." He and Mr. Maliki agreed to set up a committee to plan security cooperation.

"We will continue our discussions with your government over the substance of our security arrangements, including areas of training, intelligence and counterterrorism," he said.

The inability of the United States and Iraq to agree on legal immunity for American troops led to President Obama's announcement that the last soldiers would depart the country next month. The Pentagon had been negotiating to leave in place a residual force of between 3,000 and 5,000 soldiers to help train Iraqi forces.

But administration officials have suggested that once the withdrawal was complete - a politically significant milestone in the United States and Iraq - the two sides could negotiate the return of American troops for training purposes.

There are now only 13,000 American soldiers left in Iraq and their ranks are dwindling by 500 a day, though the United States will leave a vestigial force as liaison officers and to guard the embassy in Baghdad. The military is shipping out its equipment and turning over crucial installations.

Mr. Biden repeatedly portrayed the withdrawal as evidence that the United States keeps its promises. "In the neighborhood I'm from," he said, "a promise made is a promise kept."

Still, with both countries eager to turn the page, much of Wednesday's meetings were devoted to other concerns like trade, energy and agriculture investment and visas for exchange students. Mr. Biden laid out a civilian partnership that he promised would draw American companies to Iraq and send Iraqis to American universities.

"We are embarking on a new path together, a new phase in this relationship," he said, as he sat next to Mr. Maliki beneath glittering chandeliers at the governmental palace.

To underscore the emphasis on nonmilitary engagement, Mr. Biden singled out two officials in his 15-member delegation, Jeffrey D. Feltman, an assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, and Daniel B. Poneman, the deputy secretary of energy.

Mr. Maliki, who was flanked by members of his cabinet and other officials, said he hoped that American companies would pour into Iraq with the same vigor as American troops once did.

But in a telling moment that spoke to Iraq's challenges, Mr. Maliki declared, "We are looking forward to the future of Iraq, which is going to be built on the outcome of this meeting."

Mr. Biden, who was standing next to him, gently demurred, saying, "To suggest that the future of Iraq rests on our personal relationship, I think gives us too much credit." The "success of Iraq will rest upon the vision of you and the civilian leadership," he said.


7) #OccupyWallSt Roundup, Day 74
November 30, 2011, 2:12 pm

Protesters gathered in Madison Square Park to meet arriving delegates from the aerospace and defense industries to a conference hosted in part by Credit Suisse bank. A rally to protest "war profiteers" is planned for 4:30 p.m. in the park. [NBC New York]

A large strike by public sector workers in London closed 2,000 schools and restricted ambulance service. Demonstrators are protesting Britain's austerity measures, which the government said would extend for two more years as deficit-reduction efforts stagnate. [BBC, New York Times]

An estimated 1,200 police officers cleared the large Occupy encampment in Los Angeles, arresting 200 people. Protesters in Philadelphia were also cleared from a park next to City Hall. [New York Times]

Police evictions across the country seem to have increased support from religious groups for Occupy Wall Street, according to a pastor at Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village, which has hosted protesters. [Washington Post]

Three City Council members, including two who were arrested during Occupy protests in New York, introduced a resolution Tuesday condemning "divisive economic and social realities facing our nation" and calling for support of Occupy Wall Street. [City Room]

Greg Fox, "perhaps the best percussionist in the city," did not join the drum circle at Zuccotti Park, but he did work in its kitchen. [Village Voice]

The first of two national bond-buying days were held in Italy, after a private citizen, Giuliano Melani, called for Italians to show their patriotism by picking up national debt (at 7.2 percent). [Financial Times]

Occupy Wall Street uses Facebook to promote its message and publicize events. But will it approve of the company's possible $100 billion initial public offering? [Speakeasy]

Student protesters in New York played a video and interrupted a question-and-answer session with Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly on Tuesday during a class taught by former Mayor David N. Dinkins at Columbia University. [Bwog]

Occupy protests on college campuses are complicating efforts to recruit students to Wall Street. Teaching financial markets at this time is "a little like teaching R.O.T.C. during the Vietnam War," said Robert J. Shiller, an economics professor at Yale. [DealBook]

A Darien resident invited Occupy Wall Street protesters to "come here to where the wealthy do live and strike up a conversation." Protesters demonstrated last month outside the New Canaan home of Jeffrey R. Immelt, the chief executive of General Electric, even after he expressed sympathy for the movement. [Daily Stamford, Forbes]

Occupy Wall Street gave a writing assignment to anyone wishing to contribute to the Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology (538 pages and growing). [GalleyCat, People's Library]

Protesters are closing in on their goal of raising $10,000 to publish 100,000 copies of the People's Declaration, a summary of Occupy Wall Street grievances composed at a General Assembly at Zuccotti Park. [Kickstarter]

On Thursday, protesters will demonstrate in Zuccotti Park to commemorate World AIDS Day and demand a tax to pay for treatment and services for people with H.I.V.

Creative protesters plan to Occupy Broadway with a 24-hour performance somewhere around Times Square on Friday at 6 p.m. [NYCGA]


8) A Banker Speaks, With Regret
"...some account executives earned a commission seven times higher from subprime loans, rather than prime mortgages. So they looked for less savvy borrowers - those with less education, without previous mortgage experience, or without fluent English - and nudged them toward subprime loans."
November 30, 2011

If you want to understand why the Occupy movement has found such traction, it helps to listen to a former banker like James Theckston. He fully acknowledges that he and other bankers are mostly responsible for the country's housing mess.

As a regional vice president for Chase Home Finance in southern Florida, Theckston shoveled money at home borrowers. In 2007, his team wrote $2 billion in mortgages, he says. Sometimes those were "no documentation" mortgages.

"On the application, you don't put down a job; you don't show income; you don't show assets," he said. "But you still got a nod."

"If you had some old bag lady walking down the street and she had a decent credit score, she got a loan," he added.

Theckston says that borrowers made harebrained decisions and exaggerated their resources but that bankers were far more culpable - and that all this was driven by pressure from the top.

"You've got somebody making $20,000 buying a $500,000 home, thinking that she'd flip it," he said. "That was crazy, but the banks put programs together to make those kinds of loans."

Especially when mortgages were securitized and sold off to investors, he said, senior bankers turned a blind eye to shortcuts.

"The bigwigs of the corporations knew this, but they figured we're going to make billions out of it, so who cares? The government is going to bail us out. And the problem loans will be out of here, maybe even overseas."

One memory particularly troubles Theckston. He says that some account executives earned a commission seven times higher from subprime loans, rather than prime mortgages. So they looked for less savvy borrowers - those with less education, without previous mortgage experience, or without fluent English - and nudged them toward subprime loans.

These less savvy borrowers were disproportionately blacks and Latinos, he said, and they ended up paying a higher rate so that they were more likely to lose their homes. Senior executives seemed aware of this racial mismatch, he recalled, and frantically tried to cover it up.

Theckston, who has a shelf full of awards that he won from Chase, such as "sales manager of the year," showed me his 2006 performance review. It indicates that 60 percent of his evaluation depended on him increasing high-risk loans.

In late 2008, when the mortgage market collapsed, Theckston and most of his colleagues were laid off. He says he bears no animus toward Chase, but he does think it is profoundly unfair that troubled banks have been rescued while troubled homeowners have been evicted.

When I called JPMorgan Chase for its side of the story, it didn't deny the accounts of manic mortgage-writing. Its spokesmen acknowledge that banks had made huge mistakes and noted that Chase no longer writes subprime or no-document mortgages. It also said that it has offered homeowners four times as many mortgage modifications as homes it has foreclosed on.

Still, 28 percent of all American mortgages are "underwater," according to Zillow, a real estate Web site. That means that more is owed than the home is worth, and the figure is up from 23 percent a year ago. That overhang stifles the economy, for it's difficult to nurture a broad recovery unless real estate and construction revive.

All this came into sharper focus this week as Bloomberg Markets magazine published a terrific exposé based on lending records it pried out of the Federal Reserve in a lawsuit. It turns out that the Fed provided an astonishing sum to keep banks afloat - $7.8 trillion, equivalent to more than $25,000 per American.

The article estimated that banks earned up to $13 billion in profits by relending that money to businesses and consumers at higher rates.

The Federal Reserve action isn't a scandal, and arguably it's a triumph. The Fed did everything imaginable to avert a financial catastrophe - and succeeded. The money was repaid.

Yet what is scandalous is the basic unfairness of what has transpired. The federal government rescued highly paid bankers from their reckless decisions. It protected bank shareholders and creditors. But it mostly turned a cold shoulder to some of the most vulnerable and least sophisticated people in America. Last year alone, banks seized more than one million homes.

Sure, some programs exist to help borrowers in trouble, but not nearly enough. We still haven't taken such basic steps as allowing bankruptcy judges to modify the terms of a mortgage on a primary home. Legislation to address that has gotten nowhere.

My daughter and I are reading Steinbeck's "Grapes of Wrath" aloud to each other, and those Depression-era injustices seem so familiar today. That's why the Occupy movement resonates so deeply: When the federal government goes all-out to rescue errant bankers, and stiffs homeowners, that's not just bad economics. It's also wrong.

I invite you to visit my blog, On the Ground. Please also join me on Facebook and Google+, watch my YouTube videos and follow me on Twitter.


9) Camps Are Cleared, but '99 Percent' Still Occupies the Lexicon
"You can't evict an idea."
November 30, 2011

Most of the biggest Occupy Wall Street camps are gone. But their slogan still stands.

Whatever the long-term effects of the Occupy movement, protesters have succeeded in implanting "We are the 99 percent," referring to the vast majority of Americans (and its implied opposite, "You are the one percent" referring to the tiny proportion of Americans with a vastly disproportionate share of wealth), into the cultural and political lexicon.

First chanted and blogged about in mid-September in New York, the slogan become a national shorthand for the income disparity. Easily grasped in its simplicity and Twitter-friendly in its brevity, the slogan has practically dared listeners to pick a side.

"We are getting nothing," read the Tumblr blog "We Are the 99 Percent" that helped popularize the percentages, "while the other one percent is getting everything."

Within weeks of the first encampment in Zuccotti Park in New York, politicians seized on the phrase. Democrats in Congress began to invoke the "99 percent" to press for passage of President Obama's jobs act - but also to pursue action on mine safety, Internet access rules and voter identification laws, among others. Republicans pushed back, accusing protesters and their supporters of class warfare; Newt Gingrich this week called the "concept of the 99 and the one" both divisive and "un-American."

Perhaps most important for the movement, there was a sevenfold increase in Google searches for the term "99 percent" between September and October and a spike in news stories about income inequality throughout the fall, heaping attention on the issues raised by activists.

"The '99 percent,' and the 'one percent,' too, are part of our vocabulary now," said Judith Stein, a professor of history at the City University of New York.

Soon there were income calculators ("What Percent Are You?" asked The Wall Street Journal), music playlists (an album of Woody Guthrie covers, promoted as a "soundtrack for the 99 percent") and cheap lawn signs. And, inevitably, there were ads: a storefront near Union Square peddles "Gifts for the 99 percent." A trailer for a Showtime television series about management consultants, "House of Lies," describes the lead characters as "the one percent sticking it to the one percent." A Craigslist ad for a three-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn has the come-on "Live Like the One Percent!" (in this case, in Boerum Hill).

These days, the language of the Occupy movement is being reappropriated in new ways seemingly every day. CBS ran a radio spot last that invited viewers to "occupy your couch." On Thanksgiving, people joked online about occupying the dinner table. Now, on Facebook, holiday revelers are inviting friends to "one percent parties."

Slogans have emerged from American protest movements, successful and otherwise, throughout history. The American Revolution furnished the world with "Give me liberty or give me death" and the still-popular "No taxation without representation." The equal rights movement in the 1960s used the phrase "59 cents" to point out the income disparities between women and men. The civil rights movement embraced the song "We Shall Overcome" as a slogan. During the Vietnam War, protesters called on politicians to "Bring 'em Home" and "Stop the Draft." More recently, supporters of Mr. Obama shouted "Yes, we can."

The idea behind the 99 percent catchphrase has its roots in a decade's worth of reporting about the income gap between the richest Americans and the rest, and more directly in May in a Vanity Fair column by the liberal economist Joseph E. Stiglitz titled "Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%." The slogan that resulted in September identified both a target, the "one percent," and a theoretical constituency, everyone else.

Rhetorically, "it was really clever," said David S. Meyer, a University of California, Irvine, professor who studies social movements. "Deciding whom to blame is a key task of all politics," he wrote in his blog about the phrase.

"It's something that kind of puts your opponents on the defensive," he said in an interview.

In some cases even politicians who have been put on the defensive by the movement have resorted to the same rhetoric. When Philadelphia's mayor, Michael A. Nutter, announced last week that the protesters there had to make way for a construction project, he emphasized that the project would be "built by the 99 percent, for the 99 percent."

Xeni Jardin, the editor of the influential blog Boing Boing, which has featured the protests every day since they began, praised the slogan for capturing "a mounting sense of unfairness in America" and distilling it "into something very brief."

But she also called it "fundamentally unfair" because within the so-called 99 percent that have slept at occupations across the country, there are many well-to-do college students but just as many, if not more, homeless individuals. "There are many shades of gray," she said.

But attempts to mock or subvert the slogan seem not to have stuck; as Ms. Jardin put it, "How do you make fun of numbers?" A Tumblr blog that was set up to compete with "We Are the 99 Percent," called "We Are the 53%," (referring to the estimated percentage of Americans who pay federal income taxes) has not been updated for two weeks.

Ms. Stein at CUNY believes that the 99 percent rallying cry will have limited effect in the future. "I don't think a good slogan is enough to revivify a movement or our politics," she said.

But Mr. Meyer said the catchphrase is a useful one in that it gives continuity and coherence to a movement that is losing some of its camps in major cities across the country. "Occupy takes its name from the occupation," he said. "If Occupy continues without occupations, what provides continuity with those people in Zuccotti Park? The slogan."

The slogan was chanted again early on Wednesday morning in Los Angeles and Philadelphia as police there cleared out the Occupy campsites in each city. As they lost physical ground for their local movements, protesters told each other online, "You can't evict an idea."


10) Districts Pay Less in Poor Schools, Report Says
November 30, 2011

Education experts have long argued that a basic inequity in American schooling is that students in poor neighborhoods are frequently taught by low-paid rookie teachers who move on as they gain experience and rise up the salary scale.

Until now, however, researchers lacked nationwide data to prove it. That changed Wednesday when the Department of Education released a 78-page report.

Its conclusion: Tens of thousands of schools serving low-income students are being shortchanged because districts spend fewer state and local dollars on teacher salaries in those schools than on salaries in schools serving higher-income students.

"Low-income students need extra support and resources to succeed, but in far too many places, policies for assigning teachers and allocating resources are perpetuating the problem rather than solving it," Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a conference call.

The report, Comparability of State and Local Expenditures Among Schools Within Districts, is based on data collected from 84,000 public schools in districts that had to report salary expenditures to receive emergency federal money under the 2009 economic stimulus law, which channeled $100 billion to public education.

The inequities documented in the report began to accumulate within a few years of the passage of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the main federal law on public schools, which channels money to educate poor children. To prevent them from simply substituting the federal antipoverty dollars for local funds, districts had to show that they were spending at least as much state and local education money in the poor schools getting federal money as they were spending in their more affluent schools.

But a loophole allowed school systems to report educator salaries to Washington using a districtwide pay schedule, thus masking large salary gaps between the higher-paid veteran staffs in middle-class schools and the young teachers earning entry-level pay in poor parts of the district.

A few researchers have documented the problem with statewide data in Florida and some other states, said Cynthia Brown, a vice president at the Center for American Progress, a liberal research group. "But I'm excited because this is the first time that data documenting the problem has ever been collected on a nationwide basis," she said. "Many of us have known for a long time that in some individual districts the high-poverty schools weren't getting their fair share of state and local funds."

Federal officials estimated that although the inequities were widespread, alleviating them would not be costly.

"Providing low-income schools with comparable spending would cost as little as 1 percent of the average district's total spending," but the extra resources "would make a big impact by adding between 4 percent and 15 percent to the budget" of schools serving poor students, the department said in a statement.


11) In Police Trial, Ruling Urges Firing of Detective in Sean Bell Case
November 30, 2011

A Police Department administrative trial has found that a New York City detective who fired his weapon during the 50-bullet fusillade that killed Sean Bell hours before his wedding five years ago did so outside of departmental guidelines, a law enforcement official said Wednesday.

After hearing evidence in the case, Deputy Commissioner Martin G. Karopkin, acting as the trial judge, ruled that the detective, Gescard F. Isnora, had acted improperly and recommended that he be fired for his actions during the shooting and for stepping outside his role as an undercover officer and thereby endangering himself and others, the official said.

As for a second officer, Michael Carey, who also faced departmental charges, Mr. Karopkin recommended that he be found not guilty of improperly firing his weapon and be allowed to stay on the force, said the official, who insisted on anonymity because the matter was continuing.

The shooting of Mr. Bell, 23, occurred early one morning in November 2006 as Mr. Bell drove with two friends away from a strip club in Jamaica, Queens, where they had been celebrating. It led to intense criticism of the tactics of undercover officers and a criminal trial of Detective Isnora and two other officers who fired at Mr. Bell; the officers were acquitted. Officer Carey and a fifth officer who took part in the shooting were not criminally charged.

Mr. Karopkin's decision was delivered late Tuesday to lawyers for both officers and to departmental advocates who serve as prosecutors in such matters. Each side has until Dec. 15 to submit written comments on the rulings, officials said. The entire package of documents will then be delivered to Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly. Mr. Kelly can accept or reject the findings and impose any punishment he sees fit, officials said.

Reached on Wednesday, Philip E. Karasyk, a lawyer for Detective Isnora, declined to comment. In the departmental trial, Mr. Karasyk argued that his client's actions were well within departmental guidelines; that assertion was backed up in testimony by a detective who trains undercover officers in the department.

Michael J. Palladino, president of the Detectives' Endowment Association, said he strongly disagreed with Mr. Karopkin's verdict and recommendation. "There is a penalty phase of this process, and I reserve any further comment until the penalty phase is completed," he said.

Officer Carey's lawyer, Stephen C. Worth, also declined to comment.

Patrick J. Lynch, the president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, said in a statement: "We are gratified that Officer Carey's actions were found to be appropriate and hope he will be able to return to full enforcement duties. We strongly disagree with the guilty finding regarding Detective Isnora, who clearly believed he was facing an armed adversary."

Sanford A. Rubenstein, a lawyer for the Bell estate, said that Mr. Bell's fiancée, Nicole Paultre Bell, would address the judge's recommendation at a news conference on Thursday in Harlem. He said Ms. Bell declined to comment until then.


12) Signs of Hope in Jobs Report; Unemployment Drops to 8.6%
"American governments at all levels continued to bleed workers, for one. And the decline in the unemployment rate had a down side: It fell partly because more workers got jobs, but also because about 315,000 workers dropped out of the labor force. That left the share of Americans actively participating in the work force at a historically depressed 64 percent, down from 64.2 percent in October. Even excluding these hundreds of thousands of dropouts, the country still had a backlog of more than 13 million unemployed workers, whose spells of unemployment averaged an all-time high of 40.9 weeks. 'They say businesses are refusing to look at résumés from the unemployed,' said Esther Perry, 59, of Bedford, Mass., who participated in a recent report on unemployed workers put together by USAction, a liberal coalition. 'What do you think my chances are? Once unemployment runs out, I don't know what I will do.' Even those who are employed are in fragile positions. Average hourly earnings fell 0.1 percent in November, and a Labor Department report released Wednesday found that the share of national income going to labor was at an all-time low last quarter."
December 2, 2011

The American unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped to its lowest level in two and a half years in November, despite the many global crises batting against the economy.

The jobless rate fell to 8.6 percent, after having been stuck around 9 percent for most of 2011, the Labor Department said Friday. A separate survey of employers, which economists pay more attention to than the rate, also brought modestly good news: Companies added 120,000 jobs last month, after adding 100,000 jobs in October.

These numbers were not particularly impressive by historical standards - payroll growth was just about enough to keep up with population growth - but there were other signs of resilience. Employment in the previous two months was revised upward substantially, and the report showed companies have been taking on more and more temporary workers, indicating that more permanent hires may be in the cards, too.

"If you go back to August, all sorts of people were telling us that the economy was headed straight into recession," said Paul Ashworth, senior United States economist at Capital Economics. "Since that point, we've become more and more worried about the euro zone and other areas of the global economy, but somehow, at least for the moment, the U.S. economy seems to be shrugging all that off."

Other recent economic reports have also been positive, including increases in help-wanted advertising, decreases in jobless claims and a loosening of credit conditions for small businesses. Perhaps most encouraging was a recent survey of small businesses that found hiring intentions to be at their highest level since September 2008, when Lehman Brothers collapsed.

"Small businesses were cheering up at the end of last year, but then got clobbered by the jump in oil prices, the Japanese earthquake and then the debt ceiling fiasco," said Ian Shepherdson, chief United States economist at High Frequency Economics. "Small businesses employ half the workforce, and we need them on board."

Still, serious concerns remain about the economy's ability to weather a potential meltdown in Europe.

American governments at all levels continued to bleed workers, for one. And the decline in the unemployment rate had a down side: It fell partly because more workers got jobs, but also because about 315,000 workers dropped out of the labor force. That left the share of Americans actively participating in the work force at a historically depressed 64 percent, down from 64.2 percent in October.

Even excluding these hundreds of thousands of dropouts, the country still had a backlog of more than 13 million unemployed workers, whose spells of unemployment averaged an all-time high of 40.9 weeks.

"They say businesses are refusing to look at résumés from the unemployed," said Esther Perry, 59, of Bedford, Mass., who participated in a recent report on unemployed workers put together by USAction, a liberal coalition. "What do you think my chances are? Once unemployment runs out, I don't know what I will do."

Even those who are employed are in fragile positions. Average hourly earnings fell 0.1 percent in November, and a Labor Department report released Wednesday found that the share of national income going to labor was at an all-time low last quarter.

These softer spots in Friday's numbers underscored just how much President Obama needs additional stimulus, a tidy and fast resolution to the European debt crisis or some other economic breakthrough to reinvigorate the job market before the 2012 presidential election.

On the issue of government action to stimulate the economy, there has been some movement in Washington toward extending the payroll tax cut, which is currently scheduled to expire at the end of this month. Economists have said that allowing the expiration of the tax cut - which lets more than 160 million mostly middle-class Americans keep two percentage points more of their pay checks - could be a severe drag on both job creation and output growth.

"If isn't extended, it will have an impact on consumer spending in the first half of next year because it'll put a big dent in consumer income," said Conrad DeQuadros, senior economist at RDQ Economics. "To the extent that reduces spending, there will be second-round effects on hiring."

The other major stimulus program scheduled to expire by 2012 is the extended unemployment insurance benefits, which allow some jobless workers to continue receiving benefits for as long as 99 weeks. Already, millions of workers have exhausted their benefits, and ending extended benefits is likely to affect another sizable chunk of the unemployed.

"In January alone, 1.8 million workers who currently receive federal unemployment insurance or would have begun to receive it will be cut off if Congress does not renew the program," according to a recent report from the National Employment Law Project.

Unemployment benefits are believed to have one of the most stimulative effects on the economy, since recipients of these benefits are likely to spend all of the money they receive quickly and so pump more spending through the economy.


13) Killing the Euro
December 1, 2011

Can the euro be saved? Not long ago we were told that the worst possible outcome was a Greek default. Now a much wider disaster seems all too likely.

True, market pressure lifted a bit on Wednesday after central banks made a splashy announcement about expanded credit lines (which will, in fact, make hardly any real difference). But even optimists now see Europe as headed for recession, while pessimists warn that the euro may become the epicenter of another global financial crisis.

How did things go so wrong? The answer you hear all the time is that the euro crisis was caused by fiscal irresponsibility. Turn on your TV and you're very likely to find some pundit declaring that if America doesn't slash spending we'll end up like Greece. Greeeeeece!

But the truth is nearly the opposite. Although Europe's leaders continue to insist that the problem is too much spending in debtor nations, the real problem is too little spending in Europe as a whole. And their efforts to fix matters by demanding ever harsher austerity have played a major role in making the situation worse.

The story so far: In the years leading up to the 2008 crisis, Europe, like America, had a runaway banking system and a rapid buildup of debt. In Europe's case, however, much of the lending was across borders, as funds from Germany flowed into southern Europe. This lending was perceived as low risk. Hey, the recipients were all on the euro, so what could go wrong?

For the most part, by the way, this lending went to the private sector, not to governments. Only Greece ran large budget deficits during the good years; Spain actually had a surplus on the eve of the crisis.

Then the bubble burst. Private spending in the debtor nations fell sharply. And the question European leaders should have been asking was how to keep those spending cuts from causing a Europe-wide downturn.

Instead, however, they responded to the inevitable, recession-driven rise in deficits by demanding that all governments - not just those of the debtor nations - slash spending and raise taxes. Warnings that this would deepen the slump were waved away. "The idea that austerity measures could trigger stagnation is incorrect," declared Jean-Claude Trichet, then the president of the European Central Bank. Why? Because "confidence-inspiring policies will foster and not hamper economic recovery."

But the confidence fairy was a no-show.

Wait, there's more. During the years of easy money, wages and prices in southern Europe rose substantially faster than in northern Europe. This divergence now needs to be reversed, either through falling prices in the south or through rising prices in the north. And it matters which: If southern Europe is forced to deflate its way to competitiveness, it will both pay a heavy price in employment and worsen its debt problems. The chances of success would be much greater if the gap were closed via rising prices in the north.

But to close the gap through rising prices in the north, policy makers would have to accept temporarily higher inflation for the euro area as a whole. And they've made it clear that they won't. Last April, in fact, the European Central Bank began raising interest rates, even though it was obvious to most observers that underlying inflation was, if anything, too low.

And it's probably no coincidence that April was also when the euro crisis entered its new, dire phase. Never mind Greece, whose economy is to Europe roughly as greater Miami is to the United States. At this point, markets have lost faith in the euro as a whole, driving up interest rates even for countries like Austria and Finland, hardly known for profligacy. And it's not hard to see why. The combination of austerity-for-all and a central bank morbidly obsessed with inflation makes it essentially impossible for indebted countries to escape from their debt trap and is, therefore, a recipe for widespread debt defaults, bank runs and general financial collapse.

I hope, for our sake as well as theirs, that the Europeans will change course before it's too late. But, to be honest, I don't believe they will. In fact, what's much more likely is that we will follow them down the path to ruin.

For in America, as in Europe, the economy is being dragged down by troubled debtors - in our case, mainly homeowners. And here, too, we desperately need expansionary fiscal and monetary policies to support the economy as these debtors struggle back to financial health. Yet, as in Europe, public discourse is dominated by deficit scolds and inflation obsessives.

So the next time you hear someone claiming that if we don't slash spending we'll turn into Greece, your answer should be that if we do slash spending while the economy is still in a depression, we'll turn into Europe. In fact, we're well on our way.


14) Learning Too Late of Perils in Gas Well Leases
December 1, 2011

After Scott Ely and his father talked with salesmen from an energy company about signing the lease allowing gas drilling on their land in northeastern Pennsylvania, he said he felt certain it required the company to leave the property as good as new.

So Mr. Ely said he was surprised several years later when the drilling company, Cabot Oil and Gas, informed them that rather than draining and hauling away the toxic drilling sludge stored in large waste ponds on the property, it would leave the waste, cover it with dirt and seed the area with grass. He knew that waste pond liners can leak, seeping contaminated waste.

"I guess our terms should have been clearer" about requiring the company to remove the waste pits after drilling, said Mr. Ely, of Dimock, Pa., who sued Cabot after his drinking water from a separate property was contaminated. "We learned that the hard way."

Americans have signed millions of leases allowing companies to drill for oil and natural gas on their land in recent years. But some of these landowners - often in rural areas, and eager for quick payouts - are finding out too late what is, and what is not, in the fine print.

Energy company officials say that standard leases include language that protects landowners. But a review of more than 111,000 leases, addenda and related documents by The New York Times suggests otherwise:

¶ Fewer than half the leases require companies to compensate landowners for water contamination after drilling begins. And only about half the documents have language that lawyers suggest should be included to require payment for damages to livestock or crops.

¶ Most leases grant gas companies broad rights to decide where they can cut down trees, store chemicals, build roads and drill. Companies are also permitted to operate generators and spotlights through the night near homes during drilling.

¶ In the leases, drilling companies rarely describe to landowners the potential environmental and other risks that federal laws require them to disclose in filings to investors.

¶ Most leases are for three or five years, but at least two-thirds of those reviewed by The Times allow extensions without additional approval from landowners. If landowners have second thoughts about drilling on their land or want to negotiate for more money, they may be out of luck.

The leases - obtained through open records requests - are mostly from gas-rich areas in Texas, but also in Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

In Pennsylvania, Colorado and West Virginia, some landowners have had to spend hundreds of dollars a month to buy bottled water or maintain large tanks, known as water buffaloes, for drinking water in their front yards. They said they learned only after the fact that the leases did not require gas companies to pay for replacement drinking water if their wells were contaminated, and despite state regulations, not all costs were covered.

Thousands of landowners in Virginia, Pennsylvania and Texas have joined class action lawsuits claiming that they were paid less than they expected because gas companies deducted costs like hauling chemicals to the well site or transporting the gas to market.

Some industry officials say the criticism of their business practices is misguided. Asked about the waste pits on Mr. Ely's land in Pennsylvania, for example, George Stark, a Cabot spokesman, said the company's cleanup measures met or exceeded state requirements. And the door-to-door salesmen, commonly known as landmen, who pitch the leases on behalf of the drilling companies also dismiss similar complaints from landowners, and say they do not mislead anyone.

The Sales Pitch

"There are bad leases out there, and, as with any industry, there have also been some unscrupulous opportunists," said Mike Knapp, president of Knapp Acquisitions and Production, a company in western Pennsylvania that brokers deals between landowners and drilling companies. "But everyone I know who does this work is on the up and up, and most of the bad actors that there may have been before are no longer in business."

He said that his company's leases ensure that landowners will get replacement water. The company also encourages landowners to visit an existing drilling site before signing a lease to get an idea of the potential noise and truck traffic. Some of the complaints about leases, he said, are just sour grapes from landowners who are envious about the amount of money they believe their neighbors are earning in bonuses and royalties.

To be sure, many landowners have earned small fortunes from drilling leases. Last year, natural gas companies paid more than $1.6 billion in lease and bonus payments to Pennsylvania landowners, according to a report commissioned by the Marcellus Shale Coalition, an industry trade group. Chesapeake Energy, one of the largest natural gas companies, has paid more than $183.8 million in royalties in Texas this year, according to its Web site.

Much of the money has gone to residents in rural areas where jobs are scarce and farmers and ranchers have struggled to stay afloat. Mr. Ely once worked for a company owned by Cabot on drilling sites in his area, until he was fired shortly after publicly complaining about Cabot's drilling practices.

But many landowners and lawyers say that gas companies are intentionally vague in their contracts and use high-pressure sales tactics on landowners.

"If you've never seen a good lease, or any lease, how are you supposed to know what terms to try to get in yours?" said Ron Stamets, a drilling proponent and a Web site developer in Lakewood, Pa., who started a consumer protection Web site,, in 2008 so that he could swap advice with his neighbors as he prepared to sign a gas lease. Others have also taken steps to better inform landowners about the details in leases. In the past several years, the attorneys general in New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania have published advisories about the pitfalls of leasing land for drilling.

State regulations also provide protections to landowners above and beyond what is in their leases.

At least eight states specifically require companies to compensate landowners for damage to their properties or to negotiate with them about where wells will be drilled, even if the lease does not provide those protections.

Asked about the leases, officials from Exxon Mobil, the largest natural gas producer in the United States, declined to comment.

Protecting Landowners

Jim Gipson, a spokesman for Chesapeake Energy, said any claims of damage can be investigated by the state and federal authorities and, he added, noise or other disturbances that may come with drilling tend to be brief.

"The most frequently asked question we receive from our mineral owners is, 'When are you going to drill my well?' " he said.

Mr. Gipson said that most leased properties do not end up having a well placed on them, so those leases do not need added protections. But some consumer advocates and lawyers say that protections are needed for all leased properties, even those without wells, because drilling may occur underneath them. These advocates also say that landowners' eagerness to start earning royalties has made them vulnerable to deceptive tactics by landmen.

"We're in town until tomorrow," the landmen typically say, according to interviews with more than two dozen landowners in Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania. "We have already signed up all your neighbors."

The landmen then claim that if you do not sign right away you will miss out on easy income because other drillers will simply pull the gas from under your property using a well nearby.

Some landmen show up in poorer areas shortly before the holidays, offering cash on the spot for signing a lease. They might offer thousands of dollars per acre as a bonus to be paid shortly after the lease is signed. Royalties, which usually run between 12.5 percent and 20 percent of what the companies make for selling the gas, can mean tens of thousands of dollars per year for landowners.

Jack Richards, president of the American Association of Professional Landmen, said his members follow a strict code of ethics. His organization also encourages landowners to ask questions before they sign leases, he said.

"We promote open and honest communication between the landman and landowner before signing the lease," he said, adding that the standard lease forms are written with some protections for landowners.

Some leases, however, also include language that comes back to haunt landowners.

"I thought I knew what the sentence meant," said Dave Beinlich, describing a section that said that "preparation" to drill was enough to allow Chief Oil and Gas to extend the duration of his lease.

In 2005, Mr. Beinlich and his wife, Karen, signed a lease for $2 an acre per year for five years on 117 acres in Sullivan County in north-central Pennsylvania. They soon realized they had gotten far less money than their neighbors, so they planned on negotiating a new lease when theirs expired in 2010.

A day before their lease term ended, no well had been drilled on their land, but the gas company parked a bulldozer nearby and started to survey an access road. A company official informed them that by moving equipment to the site, Chief Oil and Gas was preparing to drill and was therefore allowed to extend the lease indefinitely.

The Beinlichs have sued. Kristi Gittins, a vice president at Chief Oil and Gas, says that the company does not comment on pending litigation, but that its goal is to produce gas and it makes an honest attempt to develop the land it leases.

"Lease contracts work both ways," she added. "Chief honors the terms of its lease contracts, and we expect the landowners who have signed the lease contract to honor the terms of the contract as well."

But lawyers say that drilling leases are not like other contracts.

"You're not buying a refrigerator or signing a car note," said David McMahon, a lease lawyer in Charleston, W.Va., and co-founder of the West Virginia Surface Owners' Rights Organization, adding that once a well is drilled, it can produce gas for decades, locking landowners into the lease terms.

"With a gas lease, you're permitting industrial activity in your backyard, and you're starting a relationship that will affect the quality of living for you and your grandchildren for decades," he said.

Mr. McMahon and other lease lawyers say that unlike many contracts, oil and gas leases are covered by few consumer protection laws, in part because drilling has been most common in states with less regulation.

Clauses With Consequences

"When it comes to negotiation skills and understanding of lease terms, there is a gaping inequality between the average landman and the average citizen sitting across the table," said Chris Csikszentmihalyi, a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who created a Web site last year called the Landman Report Card that allows landowners to review landmen's professionalism and tactics.

Some lawyers also say that there are major differences between what drilling companies tell landowners and what they must disclose to investors.

Under federal law, oil and gas companies must offer investors and federal regulators detailed descriptions of the most serious environmental and other risks related to drilling. But leases typically lack any mention of such risks.

In New York, the duration of leases has been an especially contentious issue.

As leases near expiration, some gas companies try to extend them, often by invoking "force majeure," a legal term referring to an unforeseen event that prevents the two sides from fulfilling an agreement.

In these instances, gas companies say the unforeseen event is the state's repeated delays in releasing environmental regulations and issuing drilling permits.

Force majeure clauses appear in as many as half the roughly 3,200 New York leases reviewed by The Times.

Another important lease term is the Pugh Clause, said Lance Astrella, a lease lawyer in Denver. It is named after Lawrence Pugh, a Louisiana lawyer who started adding it to leases in 1947 to ensure that they would not be extended indefinitely without wells being drilled.

Fewer than 20 percent of the more than 100,000 Texas leasing documents reviewed by The Times include such a clause, and very few of the leases from Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia include the language. While the leases collected by The Times represent a small fraction of the more than 8 million oil and gas leases in the United States, experts said they illustrated issues that landowners need to understand.

Mr. Astrella said that leases also typically lacked a clause requiring drillers to pay for a test of the property's well water before drilling started, and landowners often do not think to do the tests themselves. If drilling leads to problems with drinking wells, landowners have few options if they want to prove that their water was fine before drilling started.

For some landowners, it can be a costly mistake.

"It's been one expense after another since our water went bad, and the company only has to cover part of it," said Ronald Carter, 72, of Montrose, Pa. Mr. Carter and his wife, Jean, said they signed a lease in 2006 for a one-time fee of $25 per acre on their 75 acres and annual royalty payments of 12.5 percent.

The Carters live on $3,500 a month, including the $1,500 per month they average in gas royalties. But they had to spend $7,000 to install a water purifier when their drinking supply became contaminated in 2009 after drilling near their property.

The Carters joined a lawsuit with about a dozen neighbors, including Mr. Ely, accusing Cabot Oil and Gas of contaminating their drinking water.

Mr. Stark, the Cabot spokesman, said that his company was not responsible for any water contamination in the area and that Cabot's studies showed that the gas seepage into the drinking water was occurring naturally.

"All the testing we have been able to conduct show the water meets federal safe drinking water standards," Mr. Stark said.

In 2009, Pennsylvania ordered Cabot to provide the affected residents with water. For the Carters, the company has paid for bottled water and for the installation of a water buffalo next to their trailer. Mr. Stark added that his company had offered to pay for treatment systems to remove gas if it leaked into their drinking water.

Mr. Carter said that even though Cabot had paid to provide him with bottled water and a water buffalo, he can barely afford his electricity bill, which doubled because he has to heat the water buffalo to make sure it does not freeze.

Those expenses may soon go up.

On Wednesday, Cabot stopped delivering water to the Carters, the Elys and others in Dimock after state regulators said the company had satisfied requirements of a settlement agreement with the state.

"It's a little late now," Mr. Carter said. "But there are a lot things I'd like to have done different with that lease."

Jeremy Ashkenas and Kitty Bennett contributed research.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: December 2, 2011

An earlier version of this article gave an incorrect url for Ron Stamets' Web site. It is


15) For Jobless, Little Hope of Restoring Better Days
"Even though the Labor Department is expected to report on Friday that employers added more than 100,000 jobs in November, a new study shows just how rare people like Ms. Mowery are. According to the study, to be released Friday by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers, just 7 percent of those who lost jobs after the financial crisis have returned to or exceeded their previous financial position and maintained their lifestyles. The vast majority say they have diminished lifestyles, and about 15 percent say the reduction in their incomes has been drastic and will probably be permanent."
December 1, 2011

People across the working spectrum suffered job losses in recent years: bricklayers and bookkeepers as well as workers in manufacturing and marketing.

But only a select few workers have fully regained their footing during the slow recovery.

Katie O'Brien Mowery is one of the lucky ones. After losing her job in the marketing department of a luxury resort in Santa Barbara, Calif., in early 2010, she eventually found a position with better benefits and the promise of a brighter future.

"I wished that it happened sooner than it did," said Ms. Mowery, who is in her mid-30s, referring to her nearly yearlong job search. "But looking back, my new position wouldn't have been available when I was laid off, and now I'm very happy."

Even though the Labor Department is expected to report on Friday that employers added more than 100,000 jobs in November, a new study shows just how rare people like Ms. Mowery are. According to the study, to be released Friday by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers, just 7 percent of those who lost jobs after the financial crisis have returned to or exceeded their previous financial position and maintained their lifestyles.

The vast majority say they have diminished lifestyles, and about 15 percent say the reduction in their incomes has been drastic and will probably be permanent.

Bill Loftis is one of the unfortunate ones. He is without a college degree or specialized skills and also worked in an industry, manufacturing, that has added back only about 13 percent of the jobs that it lost during the recession.

After 22 years on the job, Mr. Loftis, 44, was laid off from a company that produces air filters and valves in Sterling Heights, Mich., three years ago. Managers "looked me dead in the eye," he recalled, "and said, 'We're laying you off, but don't worry, we're calling you back.' "

He has heard nothing since. Despite applying for more than 100 jobs, he has been unable to find work. He has drained most of his 401(k) retirement fund, amassed credit card debt, and is about to sell his car, a 2006 Dodge Charger. "It's looking hopeless," he said.

According to the Rutgers study, those with less education were the most ravaged by job loss during the recession. Even among those who found work, many made much less than before the downturn.

"The news is strikingly bad," said Cliff Zukin, a professor of public policy and political science at Rutgers who compiled the study, which was based on surveys of a random sample of Americans who were unemployed at some point from August 2008 to August 2009. The numbers represent "a tremendous impression of dislocation and pain and wasted talent," he said.

More than two years after the recovery officially began, American employers have reinstated less than a quarter of the jobs lost during the downturn, according to Labor Department figures. Of the 13.1 million people still searching for work, more than 42 percent have been unemployed for six months or longer. About 8.9 million more are working part time because they cannot find full-time work.

While health care and some energy-related jobs have boomed throughout in recent years, the other winners have mostly been in skilled professions like computer systems design, management consulting and accounting, where employers have added back as many or more jobs than were cut during the downturn.

Companies like Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers, which offer accounting and other business advisory services, as well as management consulting firms like Bain & Company, have returned to peak hiring levels. Many Silicon Valley firms are aggressively recruiting. Google, for example, announced that it has hired more people in 2011 than in any previous year.

Other employers are adding back jobs that were cut, though not yet enough to reach prerecession peaks. What is more, these jobs are in areas like retail, hospitality and home health care, categories that pay low wages and are unlikely to give workers much economic security.

The sectors that have been slowest to recover are those that endured the most acute job losses, like construction and state and local government. Construction workers are among the biggest sufferers, stung by a housing collapse that led to the loss of two million jobs. Since the recovery began, the industry has added just 47,000 jobs.

Even manufacturing, which has shown a relatively healthy pace of job creation during the recovery, has added just over a tenth of the 2.3 million jobs that disappeared in the downturn.

"This recovery is really not a fair and balanced recovery," said Scot Melland, chief executive of Dice Holdings, an online job search service. "There are certain sectors that have done well, and others that haven't done well at all. If you're in one of the losing sectors, it's very tough."

Based on previous recessions, employers would have been expected to fill more jobs at this point in the recovery. But the kinds of jobs that typically return first have lagged this time around. "Construction is usually one of the earlier sectors to come back," said Harry J. Holzer, an economist at Georgetown University and the Urban Institute.

Because she had a college degree, it never occurred to Ms. Mowery that she would not eventually find a job. While collecting unemployment benefits, she tapped her network of friends and sought out the services of a unit of Randstad Holdings, a job placement firm. To brush up on her skills, she took online tutorials in software programs like Photoshop and InDesign.

When she landed a new marketing job last December at a company that resells networking equipment, she started at the same salary she had earned before, but with improved health and retirement benefits and more opportunities for promotion.

"I didn't want to just take a job, but make a career move," she said. "I was pretty confident. Things have a way of working out."

Others are more desperate. Some of them are sending out scattershot applications for jobs for which they are overqualified. Jaison Abel, senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said there was "some evidence that people who, in a different time, would have been entering the work force in midskilled jobs are now entering into the lower-skilled jobs."

Some are trying for slots even if they do not meet basic qualifications. PricewaterhouseCoopers received more than 250,000 applications through its Web site over the last year, but it has hired only 1 percent from that pool, said Holly Paul, its United States recruiting leader. She said a house painter with no qualifications beyond high school had applied for 10 different openings that required college degrees and accounting certification.

"It's definitely an eye-opener for me because it gives you an idea of what unfortunately is happening in the economy," said Ms. Paul.

Even many of those who have managed to find a job are struggling to restore financial stability. "They have had to take pay cuts or benefit cuts or maybe they don't get any vacation," said David Elliot, communications director for USAction, a coalition of grass-roots groups that will release a report on Friday about the experiences of unemployed and underemployed workers.

Mr. Loftis stays at his home in Michigan with his 4-year-old twins and looks for ways to shave costs. He and his wife, who has returned to work in a $10-an-hour factory job, canceled their cable service and no longer travel to see her family in the Philippines or relatives in Florida or Tennessee.

As he continues to apply for work, Mr. Loftis said employers have told him he has been out of a job for too long. "It's just hard," he said. "What can you do to get back on track, you know?"