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US: New York - Zuccotti Park, A Photo Essay on A Political Movement and the Kindness of Strangers


Comment: A Sott editor goes to Wall Street to do a photo essay on the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) situation:


Over the weekend, I went to the OWS demonstration and they surely didn't disappoint. Saturday's group was organized and calm as four building to sidewalk blocks were taken up with the group. Although there was a fire in their bellies, they showed a dignified grace under pressure as they walked flanked by police officers on foot, motorcycles and black SUV's.

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© Sott.net
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© Sott.net
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© Sott.net
Someone taking videos of bystanders.

Family

Bernie Sanders: 'Occupy' protests pushing Obama to stand with working people

Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont said Monday night that the ongoing "Occupy Wall Street" demonstration presented Barack Obama with an opportunity to stand with working people and push for a new jobs bill.

"I think what the president is catching on to is that the American people want him to stand up tall and straight on behalf of working families who are struggling desperately today and take on the big money interests who are so powerful and the wealthiest people who are doing phenomenally well," he said.


The senator noted that polls have found Americans are more sympathetic with the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters than the tea party movement.

Chalkboard

Private prison industry grows despite critics

Kuna, Idaho - The biggest prison in the state of Idaho is also the toughest.

The Idaho Correctional Center - the ICC - was so violent that employees and inmates had a name for the place: Gladiator School.
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© CNBC
Dozens of people gathered in New York City in May, 2011 to protest hedge funds investing in private prison companies like Corrections Corporation of America and The GEO Group.

"That was because of the assaults," said Todd Goertzen, a former corrections counselor at the prison. "That's why they called it Gladiator School, because of that reason. If you're going to ICC, it's going to be fight or die, basically."

This is the story of a dangerous business: the billions of dollars that flow into the American prison industry and the companies that profit from it.

No nation on the planet holds more of its people behind bars: 2.3 million prisoners - as many as China and Russia combined. The nation's prisons employ nearly 800,000 workers, more than the auto manufacturing industry.

Small towns are trying to get in on the boom, along with architects, health care providers and technology companies. They're all after their piece of the billions behind bars.

People

Marine veteran on 'Occupy' protests: This is our time to change greed in America

The Marine Corps veteran seen in videos shouting at New York City police officers during the ongoing "Occupy Wall Street" demonstration appeared Monday night on Countdown with Keith Olbermann to discuss the situation.

Sgt. Shamar Thomas, of the 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, confronted a group of police officers and gave them a stern lecture at the top of his voice about how they should not be hurting peaceful American protesters.

"I've been to Iraq twice," he told Olbermann. "I was in a riot in Rutba in 2004, where we had rocks thrown at us and after the rocks were thrown we didn't go beating up people and arresting people. We treated them with a level of humility."


Che Guevara

Chris Hedges: 'Corporations have carried out a coup d'état in my country'

In an interview published Monday, taken in Times Square during Saturday's global day of protests, Pulitzer-winning writer Chris Hedges explained his view of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement and why he's supporting it.

"I spent 20 years overseas, I'm a war correspondent," he said. "I came back and realized that corporations have carried out a coup d'état in my country."


Hedges wrote for The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Christian Science Monitor, and was part of the team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting, for a series of articles examining the terrorist attacks on the United States and profiling the al Qaeda network.

"I covered the street demonstrations that brought down Milošević, I've covered both of the Palestinian intifadas, and once movements like this start and articulate a fundamental truth about the society that they live in, and expose the repression, the mendacity, the corruption and the decay of structures of power, then they have a kind of centrifugal force, you never know where they're going."

Camcorder

Hamas frees Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in prisoner swap

'I hope this deal will promote peace,' says Israeli soldier freed after 5 years

Israel releases 477 Palestinians in return for tank crewman who was seized in 2006; another 550 will be released at a later date.


Jerusalem - Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and hundreds of Palestinians crossed Israel's borders in opposite directions on Tuesday as a thousand-for-one prisoner exchange brought joy to families but did little to ease decades of conflict.

Sergeant Shalit, 25, returned home to a national outpouring of emotion in Israel after five years in captivity in the Gaza Strip, while the first few hundred of over a thousand Palestinians being freed in stages from Israeli jails were greeted with kisses and flags in Gaza and the West Bank.

"I missed my family," a pale and extremely thin Shalit said in an interview with Egyptian TV conducted before he was transferred to Israel and broadcast after he went free.

"I hope this deal will promote peace between Israel and the Palestinians," said Shalit, whose breathing labored at times.

Shalit was examined by military doctors after being freed. An Israeli military official who spoke on condition of anonymity told The Associated Press that the freed soldier showed signs of malnutrition and lack of exposure to the sun.

Comment: Many things can be said about Hamas, but the media only gives the Israeli, U.S. version. Simply put, Hamas was Democratically elected, something (true elections, not selections) the U.S. knows little about. So what makes a political body a terrorist organization? It appears to be the fact that they will govern as they choose, which is contrary to the desire of America and Israel who would prefer to make subjects of the Palestinians or any 'considered' satellite nation.


People

Hamas release captured Israeli soldier

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© AP Photo/GPO, HO
In this photo released by the Israeli Government Press Office, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, welcomes released Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit, as arrives at Tel Nof Air base in southern Israel, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011.
Gaza City, Gaza Strip - Looking dazed, a thin and pale Gilad Schalit emerged from a pickup truck Tuesday under the escort of his Hamas captors and the Egyptian mediators who helped arrange the Israeli tank crewman's release after more than five years in captivity.

Freed in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, an ashen-faced Schalit struggled to breathe in an interview with Egyptian TV minutes after his release on the Egyptian side of the border with Gaza, saying that he had feared he would remain in captivity for "many more years." He said he was "very excited" to be headed home and that he missed his family and friends.

A short while later, the 25-year-old soldier was transferred to Israel, said Israeli army spokesman Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, who told a news conference: "Today, Gilad Schalit is with us."

In the first public sighting of Schalit since he was captured, he appeared thin with dark circles around his eyes in the brief video clip and interview broadcast on Egyptian TV. Wearing a black baseball cap and gray shirt, Schalit was taken from a pickup truck and escorted by a contingent of Egyptian officials and masked Hamas gunmen who had whisked him across the border.

Cow

Foodies, Get Thee to Occupy Wall Street

banks occupy wall street
© Ryan Harvey/Flickr
Because Big Food makes Big Finance look like amateurs.

The Occupy Wall Street protests grew out of anger at the outsized power of banks. But as they've expanded nationwide, the uprisings have evolved into a kind of running challenge to the way power is concentrated in all aspects of our economy - concentrated into the hands of people with an interest in maintaining the status quo.

No doubt, the financial sector is a stunning example. This MoJo chart shows how the 10 largest banks came to hold 54 percent of US financial assets, up from 20 percent in 1990. As big banks gobbled smaller banks and became megabanks, they managed to extract more and more wealth out of the economy. Even after the epochal meltdown and bailout, the financial sector now claims fully a third of US corporate profits. They've invested a chunk of that windfall in what is probably Washington's most formidable lobbying machine - which is precisely how they managed to slither away unscathed despite the economic carnage they caused.

bank consolidation
© Mother Jones

Heart - Black

US: 3 held after disabled adults found in Philadelphia basement

The four people found in the basement have the mental capacity of 10-year-olds

Three people have been charged after police found four mentally disabled adults chained in the basement of a northeast Philadelphia apartment building with only a container of orange juice as nourishment.


Officers were investigating a report of squatters in a building Saturday when they found three men and a woman in a 15-by-15-foot room behind a steel door that was chained shut. At least one victim was chained to a boiler, police said.

The subbasement room they were in called to mind a Cold War-era bomb shelter and contained a makeshift bed, mattress and sheets, Officer Tanya Little, a police spokeswoman, said Sunday. It was too small for an adult to stand up straight and also reeked of waste from the buckets they used to relieve themselves, police said.

Family

Occupy Wall Street - Chris Hedges shuts down CBC Kevin O'Leary

Chris Hedges shuts down CBC Kevin O'Leary: