New Report Blasts NYPD Repression of Occupy Movement

New York City police used “aggressive, unnecessary and excessive force” in response to the Occupy Wall Street movement protests that began last September, said Sarah Knuckey, a New York University law professor and co-author of a new report that details 130 separate incidents of police abuse. Police violence was directed “not only at protesters, but also against bystanders, independent legal observers and, particularly, journalists.” The report asks Mayor Michael Bloomberg to initiate an independent review of police behavior over the last ten months, calls for creation of an independent inspector general’s office to oversee NYPD, and demands accountability for past abuses. If the city fails to respond in good faith, said Prof. Knuckey, the U.S. Justice Department will be asked to intervene. A consortium of law schools plans to issue additional reports on police treatment of Occupy demonstrators in other cities.

Rich Hide $21 to $32 Trillion Offshore

A study commissioned by the Tax Justice Network-USA shows the global financial elite have stashed between $23 trillion and $32 trillion in secret offshore accounts. “Governments are losing all of this potential revenue that could be used to provide basic services and to stop all the cutting of jobs all over the world,” said network executive director Nicole Tichon. “Conservatively,” tax revenues from the hidden funds “could range anywhere from $190 billion to $280 billion, which is a little more than twice the amount” that the world’s rich countries spend “on all overseas development aid.”

Obama Fails Federal Workers of Color

The Obama administration has “turned a deaf ear” to minority federal employee’s complaints of racist abuse, assaults, rapes and beatings in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said Lawrence C. Lucas, president of the USDA Coalition of Minority Employees. “This administration has failed, and failed miserably,” said Lucas, who was interviewed on William Jones III’s Internet radio program, Wake Up New Orleans. “How can people go to the polls and vote for people who, when you ask them for help, you’re talking to deaf ears.”

Big Business Takeover of Philly Schools

It is very clear that businesses are beginning to have more to say about what happens in the schools than the parents” in communities of color in Philadelphia, said the city’s teachers union president, Jerry Jordan. The Philadelphia School Reform Commission has targeted at least 40 public schools for closure, and plans to turn 40 percent of classrooms over to charter schools, despite studies that have shown “the vast majority of charter schools” in Pennsylvania “are not doing as well as the neighborhood public schools.” The transition plan was drawn up by a corporate consultant firm from Boston, and paid for by the William Penn Foundation and the local United Way.“

Black Radio Has Gone Corporate

I think the term ‘Black radio’ no longer applies, except to say that there are Black people on the radio, and there are a couple of Black people who own some stations, but for the most part Black commercial radio acts pretty much the same” as general market media, said veteran broadcaster Davy D, host of the syndicated daily show Hard Knocks Radio. White listeners share the same complaints about constant repetition of “top ten” songs, as Blacks. Davy D and other media activists sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission, requesting an investigation into Black-oriented radio’s accountability to the Black listening public.

Boycott Hyatt Hotels

Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) has joined the global boycott of the Hyatt hotel chain. “Hyatt has really taken a low-road path,” contracting out much of its work force as temporary employees, said IWJ executive director Kim Bobo. “These perma-temps are paid minimum wage or just a little above, they have no vacations, no sick days, no health care.”

UNAC: U.S. Hands Off Syria

The United States and its European allies are attempting to “get ahead” of the Arab Spring by destabilizing the regime in Syria. “To claim that this is a humanitarian intervention is thoroughly false,” said Chris Gauvreau, of the United National Anti-War Coalition. “The so-called humanitarian intervention in Libya was a disaster, leading not to democracy but to another elite regime characterized by odious policies including racism against Black Africans.”

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