Suddenly the Occupy movement is under siege everywhere. There's been a wave of simultaneous, seemingly coordinated clampdowns on peaceful demonstrators in cities all across the country. Why now?
It could be nothing more than one heck of a coast-to-coast coincidence, at least theoretically speaking. But there are indications that this might have been at least partially planned and coordinated at a national level.
Either way the timing's very interesting - and, for some people, very convenient. The nation's expecting a deficit package from the undemocratic Super Committee, anticipating another possible free trade deal, and waiting to see whether Wall Street will go unpunished for its foreclosure crime wave. All that makes this a very good time for dissident voices to suddenly disappear.
Unfortunately for them, it's not going to be that easy.
The Ides of November
Occupy Oakland became famous after the brutal police suppression that led to the wounding of Scott Olsen, the Iraq war veteran. And Occupy Wall Street is the flagship site, the Tahrir Square of the new movement. That makes them high-value targets.
This week the Oakland location was struck first, followed by the blow against Wall Street. Similar police crackdowns occurred in Portland, Denver, and Phoenix. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan may have let a little too much information slip when she told an interviewer that she “was recently on a conference call with 18 cities across the country who had the same situation."
The Oakland crackdown was quickly followed by Bloomberg's move against Occupy Wall Street. That one-two punch took out the two most visible occupations, and it was quickly followed by similar moves in other cities.
That led to widespread speculation that this wave of police actions was planned and executed at the national level. As Joshua Holland commented, it's unclear whether this wave of activity was "coordinated" or not.
There are a range of possibilities. This might have been a coordinated assault. or those mayors may have only been sharing information and ideas. Or it could have been something in between.
To know the answers we'llneed to know who was on the call, whether anyone participated from the Federal government (either on the call itself or in the planning process), and what was said. Whatever happened on that call - or before and after - there's been a lot of action all of a sudden. Doesn't it make you wonder?
Whatever the background story is, if you're working for the 1 percent this is an excellent time to make the occupations vanish. Look what's coming down the pipeline:
Unrepresentative Democracy: The Congressional "Super Committee" has a deadline coming up. Everyone from the Wall Street Journal to the President of the United States are pressuring its members to come up with a deal. One of the proposals on the table would protect the tax privileges of the 1% by preserving their Bush tax cuts, and would fund that cushy deal for the rich by cutting Medicare and Medicaid while very possibly raising taxes on the middle class.
And that's the Democratic offer. What are the Republican ones like? Don't ask.
The Committee's ideas have been overwhelmingly rejected by a majority of American voters in poll after poll. But if the committee "succeeds," its agreement will be unveiled to the US public and then fast-tracked to Congress for a procedurally-rigged voted, on November 23. That's just about a week from now.
Free trade ain't free: Today President Obama attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit and worked his fellow leaders on behalf of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade accord. That accord is strongly supported by the US Chamber of Commerce and the same large corporate interests who pushed NAFTA and other free trade agreements.