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Y’all have probably heard of the ancient Sumerian peoples and their penchant for spooky burial rituals and books like the Necronomicon Ex Mortis, which was penned in human blood and has the ability to raise the dead. But did you know they also cared deeply about liberty, freemarkets and private property rights? (more…)

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Posted: January 24th, 2012

Last Thursday I got up at 7:00 a.m. and drove NASCAR-style to make it in time to my arraignment hearing at the Central Arraignment Court in sunny downtown Los Angeles 8:30 a.m.–only to find out that I’d wasted my time.

After waiting around for twenty minutes outside a courtroom with a bunch of other people arrested during the November 30 LAPD raid on Occupy LA, including Family Guy writer Patrick Meighan and a few other guys I spent two nights in jail with, I learned that the City Attorney, Carmen Trutanich, had decided to postpone arraignment for most of us. We weren’t given a new date, just a cryptic message stamped on our bail/release slips: NO CHARGES FILED / WILL NOTIFY BY MAIL. (more…)

Posted: January 10th, 2012

I’m not going make you wade through three paragraphs of stuff to find out who won this year’s Urban Shield: it was the Israeli team. Oakland Police Department took second place, while San Francisco Police Department tied with FBI for third.

— PoliceOne.com Senior Editor Doug Wyllie on Urban Shield 2010

A video recorded by OccupyNewsandMedia during last week’s early-morning raid on Occupy Berkeley shows a burly Berkeley cop strutting around with a repeat-fire tear gas grenade launcher, menacingly pointing it at protesters without provocation. At one point the bloodlusting cop threatens to shoot pointblank the guy with the camera, telling him “You back up…you may not understand it til’ I use this, but you better back up”– before charging the videographer with his grenade launcher pointed right at the camera guy’s face. (more…)

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Posted: December 26th, 2011

I gotta say, this newfangled live phone cam streaming technology is off the hook. Now anyone with an Android and an unlimited data plan can stream amazing embedded protest footage from anywhere to anyone–all of it in real time. Forget CNN’s 24-hour cable news revolution. This is CWNN–the Class War News Network.

Last Saturday I was at home in Venice, California, glued to the screen watching a live Ustream feed from Manhattan, where a few thousand protesters gathered to celebrate the three-month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street and to march on Times Square. (more…)

Posted: December 22nd, 2011

Free Press’ Josh Stearns has put together, and continues to maintain, a great up-to-date resource that’s keeping track of all the journalists arrested while covering the Occupy movement.

As of today that number stands at 36, and includes the recent arrest of your’s truly by the LAPD. The list keeps growing every week, so look out for updates:

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Posted: December 21st, 2011

Late last week, as I was reading a story by the Family Guy writer who had been brutally arrested and mistreated at the Occupy LA crackdown, I suddenly realized, “Holy shit, I remember that guy!”

I didn’t catch his name at the time (it’s Patrick Meighan), but I distinctly recall sitting next to a tall blond guy with a bruised forehead that was caked with blood, listening to him talk about his arrest to a couple of protesters and describe how a cop in riot gear kneed him in the back, threw him to the ground, and bulldozed the pavement with his forehead before zip-tying and frogmarching him out of Solidarity Square for processing—all that despite his full cooperation during his arrest. (more…)

Posted: December 13th, 2011

When I worked in Russia, there were two sets of laws–one for Kremlin favorites and oligarchs, who never worried about paying for their crimes; and laws for everyone else, who paid no matter what. Here, it’s starting to get even worse than in Russia: Not only has there not been a single banker arrested since they destroyed the entire economy and looted trillions (while at the same time a mother who fudges her address to get her child in a better school district gets jail time), but even worse than that, judges think it’s more important to punish peaceful protesters with obscene bail demands than to isolate a serial child-rapist, who was let out without having to post a single penny.

Last week, as I reported, the LAPD arrested and detained nearly 300 peaceful protesters during the paramilitary eviction raid on Occupy LA. Charged with minor, non-violent misdemeanor offenses (“failing to disperse”), the majority of those arrested were nonetheless forced to spend three full nights in jail. The reason they spent so much time (I was there for two nights) behind bars? They could not afford the bizarrely punitive $5,000 to $10,000 bail set by the City of Los Angeles, which had jacked up the bail amount in order to punish and keep Occupy LA protesters in jail–a potentially illegal practice, according to the National Lawyers Guild. (more…)

Posted: December 6th, 2011