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Yasha Levine

Read Yasha Levine’s account of LAPD’s appalling treatment of detained Occupy LA protesters

On Friday, December 2, the Los Angeles Police Department finally decided to release most of 200+ Occupy LA protesters who had been held in detention for more than 48 hours. Many of them were expected to show up at the General Assembly scheduled for 7:30 p.m on the south steps of City Hall. So I cruised down to see what I could find out…

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Posted: December 4th, 2011

Yasha Levine was forced to surrender his freedom, as well as his shoe laces…for his own protection

I finally got home Thursday afternoon after spending two nights in jail, and have had a hard time getting my bearings. On top of severe dehydration and sleep deprivation, I’ve got one hell of pounding migraine. So I’ll have to keep this brief for now. But I wanted to write down a few things that I witnessed and heard while locked up by LA’s finest… (more…)

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Posted: December 2nd, 2011

I spent this past Sunday night reporting from Occupy LA, along with at least 2,000 others who came in solidarity to help the camp stand up to a threatened LAPD raid.  The defense of the camp, or the battle to defend it, started just after midnight and lasted until about 6 AM, when the cops finally succeeded in pushing people off of the street and back onto the sidewalk–just in time for morning traffic. That was the extent of the LAPD raid. In all, there were only four arrests and no baton beat-downs, pepper spray attacks, tear gas or rubber bullets. Most important of all, the cops never set foot inside the camp.

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Posted: November 29th, 2011

This just in: Bank of America announced today that it had hired star New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell to frontline in its cross-country banking propaganda tour.

According to the press release, BofA’s Bankapalooza rolled through Los Angeles, Dallas and D.C., and was held for the benefit of America’s small business owners, giving them an opportunity to have a bit of fun while learning about the important role that massively centralized financial institutions play in helping small businesses succeed. And central to that effort was Malcolm Gladwell himself: (more…)

Posted: November 16th, 2011

This summer I traveled to Quanah, the dusty North Texas railroad town that Harry Koch called home, to find out more about the life of the man who spawned the two most powerful oligarchs of our time…

A version of this article was first published in The Texas Observer

CHARLES AND DAVID KOCH are the most powerful right-wing billionaires of our time. They have spent hundreds of millions bankrolling a broad attack against Social Security, organized labor, financial regulations, environmental protection and public education. The brothers plan to funnel at least $200 million to elect right-wing, anti-government Republicans in 2012, according to Politico. They seem hell-bent on dragging America back to the dark days of unregulated capitalism. The history of their grandfather in Texas may help explain why. Because, apparently, it runs in the family.

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Posted: November 7th, 2011

Things heated up last Friday after Herman Cain finished his stand up routine at the Kochs’ Americans For Prosperity event in Washington D.C. and the crowd settled in for a late night Ronald Reagan tribute dinner. At least 500 protesters, including a group from Occupy DC, marched on the convention center where the rightwing summit was being held. They surrounded the building, jammed intersections, drummed, chanted and generally did all they could to make AFP’s guests and donors very, very uncomfortable.

It was a chaotic scene. Luckily, a rightwing blogger named Stephen Gutowski was there, ready to collect mpeg evidence of  leftwing criminal aka 1st amendment activity and hand it over to the police. Sadly, the cops didn’t seem to appreciate Stephen’s heroic volunteer-snitching: (more…)

Posted: November 7th, 2011

You may have heard positive things about Margin Call, a new bankster suspense drama loosely based on the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers. I just saw the film, and my advice: Don’t waste your time and cash, not unless you want to spend a Jackson and 107 valuable minutes of your life hate-watching poorly scripted/directed banker-propaganda that tries to make you believe that, despite their obvious flaws and all, deep down those Wall Street bankers are complex human beings, just like you and me. Margin Call gives the same bullshit “once in a lifetime event!/never coulda seen it coming!” snowjob that Wall Street’s been laying on us since 2008, swearing that the crash was one of those “Black Swan” events that no one could have possibly predicted. (more…)

Posted: November 3rd, 2011