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Sunday: Occupy Town Square, Debtors' Speak-Out, Casseroles March & MORE

Posted 11 years ago on July 20, 2012, 2:21 p.m. EST by anonymous

poster for Occupy Town Square

When: Sunday, July 22, 2012 11:10am until 7:00pm
Where: Travers Park - 78th St. Play Street, Jackson Heights, Queens, NY
More info: Occupy Queens | RSVP on Facebook | @OccupyTownSq

Schedule of Events

11am-3pm Occupy the Square:

Organizations' Information Tables • Open Community Speakout • Live Music • Folkloric Dance • Art Exhibition - Story Telling • Face Painting • Composting • Occupy Free Market (Swap) • Silk Screening • Political Discussions & Teach-ins:

  • Housing Foreclosures and the Big Banks
  • Immigration/Undocumented Status
  • Stop and Frisk
  • NYC Digital Commons (http://www.jacksonheights.nyc)
  • Legal Residents' Voting Rights
  • Impact of the Court's Healthcare Ruling
  • The 1%'s Greed vs. the Hollis 99%: Abandoned vs. Affordable Housing
  • Strike Debt assembly & Debtor's Speak-Out @12pm (https://www.facebook.com/events/134366816704042/)
  • ... and more!

3-3:15pm Puppets Show
3:20-3:40pm Tax Dodgers 1% Base Ball Team vs. the 99% (https://www.facebook.com/events/134495150025001/)
3:40-4pm Ecuadorian Dance
4-4:45pm Community Speak-out
4:45-5:30pm Special GA
5:30-7 Issa Cabrera & Trio (Latin Jazz - Sponsored by Jackson Heights Beautification Group)
7pm Casseroles march to the 37th Road Plaza (https://www.facebook.com/events/464373573575892/) Bring a pot and a wooden spoon as we make some noise over the crisis in education and student debt.


The Need for Criminal Prosecutions to Redress the Bank Excesses of the LIBOR Scandal

Posted 11 years ago on July 20, 2012, 2:07 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

Occupy the SEC

via Occupy the SEC:

Occupy the SEC is pleased to see that the CFTC has acted upon Barclays’ extensive and long-term practice of fraudulent pricing of LIBOR and EURIBOR. The CFTC’s $200 million dollar settlement with Barclays, the Department of Justice’s penalty of $160 million and the United Kingdom’s FSA settlement of £59.5 million are significant enforcement achievements. Barclays’ mispricing of reference rates has affected entire economies throughout the globe, given that businesses of all sizes routinely borrow on reference rates tied to LIBOR and Euribor. This arbitrary and self-serving rate settings affected corporate customers, floating rate lenders, derivative counterparties and ultimately any entity or person doing business with companies borrowing at LIBOR. There is a strong argument to be made that while $452 million of total settlements that Barclays agreed to is not an insignificant amount, it pales in comparison to the damages caused by incorrect pricing on HUNDREDS of TRILLIONS of dollars of financial contracts. More recent developments have made clear that criminal manipulation of LIBOR has extended well beyond just Barclays.

Many of the banks involved in LIBOR and Euribor pricing were borrowing at prices typically significantly higher than their LIBOR and Euribor quotes during the period in question, and we have strong reason to believe that mispricing of these reference rates was rampant throughout the industry. Accordingly, we hope the CFTC and other bank regulators do not limit their investigations to Barclays, and instead scrutinize the activities of all of the banks that participated in the setting of these reference rates.

Further, Occupy the SEC expects the regulators to pursue criminal prosecution of the individuals that participated in this fraud. The CFTC’s press release makes clear that it knows the exact identifies of the principal actors behind this criminal activity. Occupy the SEC believes theU.S. has historically had been viewed as the strongest, fairest and most transparent financial market in the world. The entire U.S. economy benefits from this leading position. Yet if our regulators do not prosecute perpetrators, financial institutions will continue to act fraudulently. Regulatory fines will be disregarded as the mere cost of doing business, and will lose their deterrent value. When regulators fail to prosecute, individual perpetrators often walk away scot-free, free to collect their bonuses and continue engaging in similar activities at the same or another institution.

We encourage the regulators, particularly the SEC, to continue to use all the investigative and prosecutorial powers at their disposal to pursue the various securities law violations that have become apparent on an unprecedented scale during the current financial crisis. We are particularly distressed that the SEC has not taken action to prosecute any major CFOs or CEOs for Sarbanes-Oxley violations, and look forward to the day that the SEC takes an active role in enforcing that critical piece of investor protection legislation.

Occupy the SEC is a group of concerned citizens, activists, and financial professionals with decades of collective experience working at many of the largest financial firms in the industry. Occupy the SEC filed a 325-page comment letter on the Volcker Rule NPR, which is available at http://www.occupythesec.org/


Occupy National Gathering: Perspectives on Police

Posted 11 years ago on July 20, 2012, 11:08 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

Last month, three Occupy Caravans traveled across the country in the three weeks leading up to Occupy National Gathering, bearing activists from San Diego, Salt Lake City, Tuscon, Wichita, Atlanta, Asheville, Boston, New Orleans, D.C., and many other cities. Roughly 1,000 Occupiers attended the gathering’s marches, workshops, visioning processes, and theatrical protest.

Despite many positives, the five-day gathering was rife with contention. Some Occupiers rejected the concept of NatGat outright, feeling that a movement geared towards autonomous action should not be centralizing around a national banner. In this vein, a group of Philadelphia anarchists organized a Radical Convergence the same weekend intended “for those who have felt Occupy in its current form demonizes and excludes radical dialogue, strategy, and action.” [Editor's note: OccupyWallSt.org loves anarchists and condemns the scapegoating of anarchists from within and without the Occupy movement.] Over the five days, these theoretical divides became manifest around issues like “step up, step back,” the goals of the movement, and tactics of confrontation.

The heavy police presence, which included officers from the Philadelphia Police Department, the National Park Service, and the Department of Homeland Security, intensified the divisions around Occupy’s relationship with the police. On June 30, Occupiers were prevented from laying down any “bedding material” at the National Historic Park near Independence Mall. In defiance, a group encircled a tent and locked arms, resulting in a prolonged clash and one arrest for assaulting a federal officer. The aftermath was just as confused — some activists joined hands and hummed “ohm,” while others shouted that the cops were Nazi pigs. An ad-hoc General Assembly to discuss next steps (where they would sleep) fell apart when several Occupiers explained that they did not feel safe discussing strategy while encircled by police.

Veterans for Peace and Occupy Marines obtained a permit to maintain a presence on Independence Mall; that permit was eventually revoked, but the riot police deployed to evict them decided to back down when the veterans held their ground. Other Occupiers spent the night on a lot graciously opened by the Quakers. On July 1, twenty-seven protesters were arrested in a nighttime jail solidarity march, raising tensions and anger further. The mini-documentary attempts to portray the internal conflict over police confrontation at the Occupy National Gathering, particularly as it relates to the future of the movement. Interviews include former Philadelphia Police Captain Ray Lewis, Native American (un)Occupy Albuquerque activist Amalia Montoya, and InterOccupy organizer Tamara Shapiro.

Submitted by Zachary Bell. For other perspectives, stories, and reportbacks from the National Gathering, check out the #NatGat section at Occupied Stories.