Thursday, March 01, 2012
INITIAL POST: First, more on the NYPD surveillance program directed against Muslims:
In other words, the Obama administration has no problems with it, and will continue to fund it.
The Obama administration has pointedly refused to endorse or repudiate the NYPD programs it helps pay for. It remains unclear whether the White House knew how the NYPD was spending the grant money until the AP asked the White House about it last week.
We make very clear that we consider Muslim Americans partners in the effort to combat, you know, radical extremism, [Press Secretary] Carney said Monday. I think we've made that clear again and again. And that continues to be our position.
John Brennan, Obama's top counterterrorism adviser, last year called the NYPD's efforts heroic but would not elaborate. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, whose department also gives grant money to the NYPD and is one of the lead federal agencies helping police build relationships with Muslims, has refused in recent months to discuss the police tactics. Tom Perez, the Justice Department's top civil rights lawyer, has repeatedly refused to answer questions about the NYPD.
Meanwhile, as noted here, there were numerous Occupy actions yesterday directed against banks and corporations associated with the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization known for its lobbying activities on behalf of such interests. Oddly, I could find no coverage of them at all on firedoglake. I could find no posts in advance of them, nor any posts as they took place. If they were any such posts, they were buried within the site at a hard to find location. firedoglake does great work providing supplies to occupations around the country, but it is rather peculiar that there was a news blackout, whether accidental or deliberate, in regard to these #F29 actions. Stranger still, firedoglake is in the process of a membership drive wherein the site highlights its support for Occupy as a reason to join.
Of course, many of the posts at firedoglake are provided by members, so, perhaps, there were no members with knowledge of the #F29 actions. Even so, you'd think someone who blogs there on a daily basis would have reported on them, and it is perplexing to find a diary on The Magic of "29", and nothing about the #F29 actions. In any event, on Monday, there will be a large protest march to the state capital here in Sacramento as part of a nationwide Occupy Education day of action, with some reports that there will be an attempt to Occupy the Capital and conduct a general assembly inside the building. There are also walkouts taking place today in support of this effort. One hopes that firedoglake will find these actions newsworthy, as Occupy needs all the sympathetic coverage that it can get in the face of corporate media hostility.
As for the Monday protest here in Sacramento, it could result in confrontations with the highway patrol and local law enforcement officers responsible for policing the capital grounds, as they have historically utilized a zero tolerance policy towards any protest activity inside the building. In one notorious episode from the early 1990s, they arrested, and the Sacramento County District Attorney subsequently unsuccessfully prosecuted, about 10 disabled people in wheelchairs for protesting inside the lobby of the governor's office. They will not hesitate to respond violently, unless expressly ordered not to do so.