| Israeli leaflets ask US Jews: are you loyal to Israel or the USA?

Israeli leaflets ask US Jews: are you loyal to Israel or the USA? ~ Redress Information & Analysis.

Jewish dual allegiance – the notion that Jewish citizens of, say, Britain, France, the United States or some other country could be as loyal, or even more loyal, to a foreign state, Israel, than they are to their own country – is understandably a sensitive and inflammatory subject.

The idea that some of your compatriots are potentially traitors creates distrust in society, undermines social cohesion and, in the worst cases, could lead to religious and racial strife. Consequently, to encourage dual allegiance among Jewish citizens, or to sow doubt about the loyalty of the Jewish citizens of countries whose populations are predominantly non-Jewish, is not just amoral but criminal.

Yet, this is precisely what Israel has been doing for decades through its absurd claim that it is the state of all Jews – a claim that allows it to confer rights on Jews who are not actually yet citizens or present in Israel.

Recently, in what seems to be a concerted attempt by Israel and its Zionist American backers to create a ghetto of disloyalty to the United States among American Jews, the Israeli Foreign Ministry, acting through the Israeli American Council (IAC), has been distributing tens of thousands of leaflets to Jewish Americans asking them to indicate where their allegiance would lie in the case of a crisis between the two countries.

The IAC is a private non-profit group established in Los Angeles in 2007. In September it announced plans to expand by establishing new branches throughout the United States, funded by Las Vegas casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, one of the biggest financial backers of both Binyamin Netanyahu and failed US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Why, you might ask, would Israel want to promote disloyalty among US Jews or sow disharmony and hatred between Jewish and non-Jewish citizens of the United States?

The answer is simple: to create anti-Semitism in the US and thereby back its fallacious raison d’être argument as the haven of last resort of Jews the world over.


Ethnic Cleansing for Dummies 2


| California man behind anti-Islam film to be freed from federal custody!

California man behind anti-Islam film to be freed from federal custody ~ Steve GormanLOS ANGELES, Reuters.

(Reuters) – The man behind a film that stoked anti-U.S. protests across the Muslim world was due for release from federal custody in California on Thursday after serving time for probation violations stemming from his role in making the video.

The 56-year-old Egyptian-born Coptic Christian, Mark Basseley Youssef, gained public notice for the crudely made 13-minute anti-Islam video he produced in Southern California that portrayed the Prophet Mohammad as a fool and sexual deviant.

The film, circulated online under several titles including “The Innocence of Muslims,” touched off a torrent of anti-American demonstrations in Arab and Muslim countries, where many consider any depiction of the Prophet as blasphemous.

The start of the unrest on September 11, 2012, coincided with an attack on U.S. diplomatic posts in the Libyan city of Benghazi that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya. Links between the Benghazi assault and Youssef’s film have since been debunked.

Youssef, a former gasoline station owner who previously served time for a 2010 bank fraud conviction, was sent back to prison last year after admitting that he breached the terms of his probation in connection with the making of the film.

Federal prosecutors insisted his arrest last September had nothing to do with the film’s content but with conduct that violated the terms of his probation, such as his use of aliases and the Internet, in the course of making the video.

Youssef, identified in some public records by his birth name, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, received a 12-month term in November, but earned credit for the six weeks he already had spent in jail since his arrest, Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke said.

After a two-month stint at the federal detention center in Los Angeles, Youssef served the bulk of his sentence, about four months, in a federal prison in La Tuna, Texas. He was transferred to an undisclosed Los Angeles-area halfway house in late May to complete his term, Burke said.

He was due to be freed from federal custody altogether on Thursday, but will remain under the supervision of probation officials for the next four years, Burke said.

American cast members said after the video came to light that they had been duped into appearing in a film they believed was supposed to be an adventure drama called “Desert Warrior.”

At least one actress sued Youssef for fraud and brought a copyright claim against YouTube, seeking a court order to force removal of the clip from the online video site, but a judge refused her request.

Youssef said in a New York Times interview last November that he made the film to reveal what he called “the actual truth” about the Prophet Mohammad and to raise awareness of violence committed “under the sign of Allah.”

But in a CNN interview last month, Youssef said he “never thought my movie can cause anyone trouble or anyone can get killed from my movie.”

(Reporting and writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Peter Cooney)

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula (L) is escorted out of his home by Los Angeles County Sheriff's officers in Cerritos, California September 15, 2012. REUTERS/Bret Hartman

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula (L) is escorted out of his home by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officers in Cerritos, California September 15, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Bret Hartman _________________________________________________________________________

freedom of expressionA

free speechA

| ‘Justice for Trayvon’: Rallies to hit 100 cities!

‘Justice for Trayvon’: Rallies to hit 100 cities ~ RT.

People march in Washington on July 19, 2013 during a demonstration against the acquittal of George Zimmermann in the killing of unarmed Florida teen Trayvon Martin. (AFP Photo / Nicholas Kamm)

People march in Washington on July 19, 2013 during a demonstration against the acquittal of George Zimmermann in the killing of unarmed Florida teen Trayvon Martin. (AFP Photo / Nicholas Kamm)

Rallies throughout America are scheduled outside federal buildings on Saturday to protest a Florida jury’s decision last week to find neighborhood watch leader George Zimmerman not guilty of shooting dead unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.

It is expected that Trayvon Martin’s parents will join the protests organized by the veteran civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton to push the US Justice Department to bring a civil rights case against Zimmerman.

Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton will lead the Saturday rally along with Sharpton just outside police headquarters in New York.

Martin’s father is to lead the demonstration in Miami, where Trayvon lived with his mother and older brother.

Reverend Al Sharpton said the protests are planned for more than 100 cities throughout America and expressed hope that they would be peaceful. Earlier this week, protests against the ruling in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay turned violent, resulting in a number of arrests.


Police officers push back a protestor on the 10 Freeway after demonstrators angry at the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of black teen Trayvon Martin walk onto the 10 Freeway stopping highway traffic, in Los Angeles, California July 14, 2013. (AFP Photo / Robyn Beck)Police officers push back a protestor on the 10 Freeway after demonstrators angry at the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of black teen Trayvon Martin walk onto the 10 Freeway stopping highway traffic, in Los Angeles, California July 14, 2013. (AFP Photo / Robyn Beck)

Trayvon Martin was shot dead over a year ago by Zimmerman, who claimed he acted in self-defense. The prosecution argued that Zimmerman was guilty of second-degree murder, stating that he racially profiled the unarmed teen and assumed he was a criminal when he saw him walking through a gated community in Sanford, Florida. They further claimed that Zimmerman tracked the teenager down and started the fight that led to the shooting. 

On July 13, Zimmerman, whose voter registration record listed him as hispanic, was acquitted of all charges relating to the fatal shooting of the black teen by a panel of six women jurors. The former neighborhood watch volunteer could have been sentenced to life in prison for second-degree murder or up to 30 years for manslaughter if he was found guilty.

Zimmerman’s acquittal sparked nationwide protests last weekend as thousands took to the streets in major American cities protesting against the verdict and related issues regarding race, profiling and vigilantism.

Federal prosecutors are pursuing an investigation into whether Zimmerman violated civil rights laws, but civil rights experts doubt new charges are likely.

On Thursday Florida Governor Rick Scott met with sit-in demonstrators outside his office in Tallahassee. He said he supports the Stand Your Ground law and has no intention of convening a special legislative session to change the self-defense statute that have been adopted in 30 states.

On Friday American President Barack Obama warned the public against violence while protesting.

He agreed that “There is a history of racial disparities in the application of our criminal laws,” and that “If a white male teen was involved in the same kind of scenario … both the outcome and the aftermath might have been different.”

“Trayvon Martin could have been me, 35 years ago,” Obama said.


Racism Wrong


| Gayness -vs- Paedophilia: Renowned Gay Writer on FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List CAPTURED!

The Strange Case of Walter Lee Williams: Renowned Gay Writer on FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List Captured ~, Lambda Literary. 

On Tuesday, June 18 the FBI added Walter Lee Williams, 64, to its Ten Most Wanted List. Williams was being sought for sexual exploitation of children, travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places and criminal forfeiture, according to a Department of Justice statement.

Williams story is lurid and difficult to fathom. A renowned gay academic, writer and archivist, Williams was a Fulbright Scholar with a substantial and impressive resume. Now he’s in custody, facing up to 100 years in prison. Video of Williams being taken, in handcuffs, through LAX airport in Los Angeles shows a gray-haired man, bent over at the waist, trying to avert his face from photographers. It’s a very different look from a photo taken two years ago in the Philippines showing a tanned and relaxed Williams reclining on a boat with some young men.

Less than 24 hours after Williams had been added to the FBI list, he was arrested in Playa del Carmen, a pretty little resort town in eastern Mexico, while drinking coffee near a local café. Williams was caught unaware, according to police. He was taken back to his house in Cancun, and from there to the police station. Late Wednesday, June 19, he was deported back to the U.S. where he will be arraigned in Los Angeles.

A Los Angeles police department spokesperson said Williams was turned in by a Mexican citizen who recognized him from the FBI photo. A $100,000 reward was offered for his capture.

The sordid criminal tale began in January 2011, when Williams fled the U.S. for Mexico. Williams had returned only a week earlier from a trip to the Philippines where the FBI says he had gone to meet two 14-year-old boys for sex.

According to LAPD Assistant Chief Michel Moore, the LAPD had been alerted that Williams was trolling for minor boys on the Internet to have sex with in 2010. Moore said a student of Williams’ had contacted police after a series of conversations online. The student is not a minor. But at that time, Moore said, there was “insufficient evidence for a warrant,” so even though the police were suspicious, they could only watch Williams.

Williams made that relatively easy. In January 2011 he went to the Philippines, allegedly to have sex with two boys, both 14, with whom he was already engaging in Internet webcam sex.

The trip to the Philippines provided the turning point. The FBI was waiting for Williams. They confiscated his laptop computer which allegedly had photos of minors in sexual situations as well as “evidence of sex crimes with boys overseas.”

Williams was questioned by the FBI and after learning he was being investigated on suspicion of engaging in sex with children and acquiring and making child pornography, he fled across the border to Mexico immediately after being questioned.

According to the FBI, a strong case was built against Williams based on numerous statements. Williams was indicted and a federal warrant for his arrest was issued earlier this year. The FBI contacted at least ten alleged victims who ranged in age from nine to 17. All the victims were boys in different Asian countries. None were American. The FBI is still investigating to see if Williams has victims in Mexico, and have requested that victims in the U.S. come forward as well, believing that there are victims in the Los Angeles area. Both the FBI and the LAPD have made statements describing Williams as a serial predator.

The FBI describes the hunt for Williams as “piecing together the pieces of a puzzle.” But part of the puzzle is the nagging question of whether Williams entire career charting different native groups was, as the FBI asserts, just a means to prey on young boys of color in poverty-stricken areas of the U.S. and other countries.

Williams’ story is a tale of two identities: respected professor and indicted serial pedophile.

Until he fled the U.S. to escape indictment, Williams was a tenured professor at the University of Southern California (USC). His LinkedIn profile states he is a professor of Anthropology, History and Gender Studies. He also taught Transgender Studies. An ethnographer, Williams’ resume lists traveling throughout the American Southwest to study Native American tribes, notably the Cherokee and Sioux, as well as travel in Asia and South America. Williams describes one of his areas of research as “sexuality of the South Pacific.”

Williams is the founding editor of the International Gay and Lesbian Review, “the first academic journal to be published entirely on the Internet”(gaybookreviews.info), as well as a dozen books. His most recent book, Spirit of the Pacific, was published in February by Lethe Press. The novel’s cover copy reads, in part:

This is the story of Eddie Freeman, an African American slave from South Carolina, who escaped slavery in 1860… Eddie was attracted to his own sex, and in 21st century nomenclature would be called gay. But in his day he was just a young man trying to find love and give affection….This is a story about learning to transcend the polarities of slave and free, sacred and profane, love and hate, human and animal.

Lethe publisher Steve Berman told me that “Lethe feels it is the responsible action to pull Walter’s books from distribution until legal issues become clear.”

Another Lethe publication by Williams, a well-received novel of historical fiction, Two Spirits: The Story of Life with the Navajo, was published in 2005.

Berman had posted on Facebook immediately after Williams went on the most wanted list:

I just want to go on record stating that Toby Johnson and I are aware of the situation with Walter L. Williams. I made sure to contact the FBI this morning [June 18] and have had a couple conversations with agents. Lethe has stopped distributing the print editions of Williams’ books and will be doing the same with electronic versions (which takes a bit longer as there are more venues). Obviously, we were very much surprised to hear about the situation.

Johnson did not respond to a request for comment.

What’s difficult to imagine is how Williams explained his sudden move to Mexico—leaving his job at USC literally overnight, right before the beginning of the spring semester—and what he told friends and colleagues.

Williams’ bio in Spirit of the Pacific states that Williams founded ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, which is “the world’s largest collection of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender materials.” The bio also states that Williams is the co-founder and chair of the Committee on Lesbian and Gay History for the American Historical Association and that he is an officer of the Society of Lesbian and Gay Anthropologists.

How did Williams explain he would be handling these roles from Mexico—forever?

Williams’ academic treatise, The Spirit and the Flesh: Sexual Diversity in American Indian Culture, published in 1988won the Gay Book of the Year Award from the American Library Association, The Ruth Benedict Award from the Society of Lesbian and Gay Anthropologists, and the Award for Outstanding Scholarship from the World Congress for Sexology. The book was widely reviewed and a revised edition was released from Beacon Press in 1992.

Yet over the two decades since that work was published, Williams is alleged to have used his research as a cover to travel to countries where child prostitution is common.

The FBI’s initial report alleges that Williams used his research as an excuse for traveling throughout Southeast Asia—notably Thailand and the Philippines where he would lure young boys with money and gifts. The FBI stated, “Williams has an extensive history of travel throughout the Southeast Asia region, specifically the Philippines.” The FBI also stated that Williams had lived for extended periods in Indonesia, Polynesia, and Thailand. Williams’ academic bio notes that he taught English as a second language in these countries and has a blog called Easy English Learning.

According to the United Nations, UNICEF and HumanTrafficking.org, a human rights group, Thailand is the world’s sexual tourism center. There are 2.8 million sex workers in Thailand, 40 percent of whom are children. Of the tourists who visit Thailand, 70 percent are Western men who have traveled there to have sex with prostitutes, especially minors. In February, ABC News “Nightline” team investigated Americans in the Philippines engaged in sex trafficking of minors.

Williams was allegedly able to have Internet webcam sex sessions with the two boys he went several thousand miles to see. But while prostitution is largely ignored in Thailand—where it is a thriving business, even though it’s illegal—in the Philippines, prostitution is illegal and prosecuted harshly. If these allegations are true, Williams was taking quite a risk, going to the Philippines for child prostitutes.

As the Williams case unfolds, more is likely to be revealed about his supposed involvement with other boys as well as what others knew about his activities. In the meantime, because of Williams’ background as a respected academic who was openly gay and involved in myriad LGBT organizations as well as teaching Gender Studies, a major story in the news might be conflating gay and pedophile—a conflation the LGBTQ community has tried for decades to refute.


[Photo: William Lee Williams via FBI]



truth free

| Attorney blasts sentence for LAPD police perjury as ‘way too lenient!’

Attorney blasts sentence for LAPD police perjury as ‘way too lenient’ ~ Jack Leonard, Los Angeles Times.

An attorney for a man who accused two Los Angeles police officers of lying about his arrest and trying to frame him blasted a judge’s decision on Tuesday not to jail the officers.

Los Angeles County Deputy Public Defender Victor Acevedo said the former LAPD partners should have been incarcerated after a jury found them guilty of perjury and conspiracy to obstruct justice in a 2008 case against his client.

Acevedo described Judge Michael E. Pastor’s decision on Tuesday to sentence each officer to hundreds of hours of community labor as “way too lenient.”

“Do you know what this tells every potentially corrupt police officer? That you get a freebie, that you get a pass,” Acevedo said. “What all officers should be on notice of is that if they are found to commit this kind of corruption, they are going to prison.”

Evan Samuel, 41, was sentenced Tuesday to perform 750 hours of community labor while Richard Amio, 34, was ordered to perform 500 hours.

Acevedo said they should have been sentenced to at least two years in prison — the amount that his client was offered by the district attorney’s office after he was charged with drug possession for sale based on the reports of the officers.

The drug trial ended dramatically when Acevedo produced grainy surveillance video of the area where the arrest took place showing a group of officers searching for more than 20 minutes before one announces that drugs have been found.

The officers had claimed that they immediately found the drugs after seeing Acevedo’s client, Guillermo Alarcon Jr., throw an object as he ran from police.

Acevedo argued that the drugs were not his client’s and might have been planted by police. After viewing the videotape, a judge dismissed the charges against Alarcon and took the unusual step of declaring him factually innocent.

“That is a ridiculously un-called for sentence,” Acevedo said about Tuesday’s court hearing. “It sends the wrong signal to the public when you have a judge essentially bend over backwards to show leniency to individuals who because of their corrupt actions put an innocent man at risk of spending two years in prison.”

Pastor described his sentencing decision as among the most difficult a judge could face. The judge called the officers’ conduct “regrettably shameful” but said he also took into account the careers and lives they had led.

Samuel had faced a maximum sentence of more than seven years behind bars while Amio faced more than six years.

The district attorney’s office had sought a minimum sentence of three years for both men, arguing in court papers that “the lies told throughout their reports and testimony … were deliberate and malicious and constituted a sophisticated attempt to derail the administration of justice.”

Jurors found Samuel and Amio guilty of one count of conspiracy each and multiple counts of perjury.

Amio, 34, is on administrative leave from the LAPD. His disciplinary case was put on hold while his criminal case was pending.

Samuel, 41, joined the LAPD in 2002 and left for the Chino Police Department in 2008. He was fired while on probation in Chino after The Times reported on Alarcon’s drug case.

The same jury deadlocked on conspiracy charges against Ortiz, voting 11 to 1 in favor of guilt. The district attorney’s office has announced that prosecutors intend to retry Ortiz, who is also on administrative leave.

Attorney Victor Acevedo, left, during a drug case in 2008

Guillermo Alarcon Jr., right, looks at his attorney, Deputy Public Defender Victor Acevedo, after a judge declared him factually innocent of drug charges in 2008. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times / June30, 2008)


Former LAPD partners avoid jail time in perjury case

LAPD scales back ambush manhunt; fourth detainee released 

Man accused of killing neighbor who complained about fireworks 



| Stevie Wonder just called to say he’s pulled out of IDF Fundraiser!

Stevie Wonder Pulls Out of IDF Fundraiser ~ JTA.


Petition Called on R&B Star To Shun Israel Army Event!


Stevie Wonder is set to pull out of a performance at a fundraiser for the Israel Defense Forces, a source told JTA.


Wonder’s representatives will claim that he did not know the nature of the group, the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, and that he believes such a performance would be incongruent with his status as a U.N. “Messenger of Peace,” according to a source who has read email exchanges between Wonder’s representatives and organizers of the event.


Wonder was scheduled to headline the Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces annual gala in Los Angeles on Dec. 6. The event raises millions of dollars annually to support the Israeli military.


An official of Friends of the IDF, reached at its Los Angeles office, had no comment. Wonder’s agent at Creative Artists Agency did not return a request for comment.


The spokesman for the U.N. Secretary General also had no comment on the matter. The United Nations does not usually impose restrictions on its goodwill representatives. Wonder most recently performed at a U.N. concert commemoratiing its 67th anniversary.


Wonder had come under intense social media pressure to pull out of the event. An online petition calling on him to cancel his performance had garnered more than 3,600 signatures.


The petition was launched more than a day ago on the change.org website.


“You were arrested in 1985 protesting South African Apartheid, now we ask you: please remember that apartheid is apartheid, whether it comes from White Afrikaaner settlers of South Africa or from Jewish Israelis in Israel,” the petition reads. “Desmond Tutu has recognized that Israel’s Apartheid is worse than South Africa’s – will you stand with us against apartheid and cancel your performance at the IDF fundraiser.”


A second petition, launched by the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, calls on Wonder to “(p)lease continue your legacy of speaking out for the oppressed. Please be a ‘full-time lover’ of justice by standing on the right side of history and canceling your performance for the Israeli army.”


Wonder performed at a 1998 gala honoring Israel’s 50th anniversary.



Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


| US Corruption + Grassroots Activism: The Rise of 99Rise!

The Rise of 99Rise ~ Isabelle Nastasia, The Nation.

Courtesy: 99Rise

The impact of the Supreme Court’s 2011 decision Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commissionallowing unlimited and anonymous campaign spending has been profound and could yet be decisive in this election.

With an estimated $9.8 billion set to be spent during this electoral cycle, the 2012 elections will be the most expensive in history and have completely saturated the media and cultural environment in so-called swing states. As a result, according to the 99Rise.org, “One in four Americans say they are less likely to vote than in 2008, and 75 percent of Americans believe money buys results in Congress.

In response, 99Rise, a new grassroots group seeking to expose corporate spending in the most expensive election in United States history and get “big money out of politics” once and for all, has recently risen up. Coming out of the tradition of the Optor! movement in Serbia and the more recent Occupy protests in the US, 99Rise believes that strategic, nonviolent direct action is the only way to redress legislative loopholes that benefit profit over people.

An example came on September 28th in Los Angeles and New York City when students and community members delivered petitions to both Chase and Bank of America demanding that the banks disclose their campaign spending. When the banks refused, the students vowed to return in greater numbers.

Recently, three high school students, Emilie Hirsch, Cai Oglesby and Danielle Raskin followed up by sitting-in at JPMorgan Chase in lower Manhattan, demanding full disclosure of the bank’s anonymous political expenditures. Instead of engaging in any kind of dialogue with the peaceful young demonstrators, JP Morgan Chase officials instead chose to shut down the entire 60 floor building and had the NYPD arrest them.

“I’m risking arrest today because I’m fed up with politics as usual. The way we finance elections is broken,” says Hirsch, a high school senior at Eleanor Roosevelt High School, when asked why she was participating in the action. “Both sides are dependent on the donations of corporations and the super-rich, and that means that their preferences take precedent over the needs of ordinary Americans like me, regardless of who ends up in office. I’m prepared to get arrested in hopes of inspiring other frustrated Americans to join me in pushing for change.”

Hirsch, Oglesby, and Raskin–who were introduced to activism through the youth-led, popular education and service-learning organization that they run, the New York 2 New Orleans Coalition–are just three people out of many who are calling attention to the corrupting power of “dark money.”

Guido Girgenti, East Coast Regional organizer for 99Rise gave a detailed recount of the action: “We walked in and before Cai [Oglesby] was even able to read the statement explaining our demand and purpose, the security guard started yelling ‘Protesters at Williams Street! Protesters at Williams Street!’” Said Girgenti, “Cai read the statement over his yells and the three took their positions, obviously not intimidated. I think they prepared themselves very well to be harassed and yelled at and were ready to be resolute. I think it was the strength they emanated during the sit-in that caused NYPD and JPMorgan Chase security to totally overreact and shut down the building; they realized these youth were ready and willing to stay there until demands for disclosure were met and they were not used to having nonviolent students so smoothly ignore their commands.”

The New York sit-in was followed by a similar action in Los Angeles, when another group of young people delivered the same petition making the same demand of another Wall Street bank. During the peaceful sit-in, five 99Risers were arrested after demanding that Citigroup fully disclose all “dark money” spending.

Jordan Greenslade, a 19-year-old Occidental College student was among the arrestees. “This is the first election in which I get to cast my ballot, and I’m excited to fulfill that sacred duty as an American citizen,” said Greenslade, “but I can’t make an informed decision about who to vote for without knowing what interests are backing each of the candidates. Today I’m standing up for democratic transparency and will risk arrest if necessary to show America just how far Wall Street will go to continue buying our elected officials in secret.”

According to Alex Stevens, an online organizer for 99Rise, the protest in Los Angeles was heavily policed but not violent. “A small group of cops had been stationed at the Staging Location watching us. Those risking arrest left for the undisclosed target in advance of the 30 or so supporters. A detachment of about a dozen officers on bikes emerged and tailed the 30 non-arrestable supporters from the staging location to the target,” said Stevens. “When we arrived, CitiGroup had already locked down the main entrance entirely and was refusing to accept the petition. Five activists sat down blocking the doors in front, the other supporters joined them […] Twelve cops formed a column just outside the area where activists and press were located. One officer declared the area an unlawful assembly, and a disperse order was issued  […] the police surrounded those sitting-in, blocking them from view – they were then arrested one by one without much hassle and carted off in the paddy wagon.” Stevens also reported that the bail for each arrestee was set at $5,000.

The vision of these series of actions is articulated by Girgenti in his award-winning essay in The Nation‘s 2012 Student Writing Contest. “I still believe the arc of history bends toward justice. But a sober assessment of our situation demands that we ask, given an epochal level of corporate power,” wrote Girgenti, “will the arc bend fast enough to avert another financial crisis? Or to save the planet? This is not an abstract question. The climate has a deadline. Whether we meet that deadline is not a question of solutions (there are many), but whether we can restore a republic of, by and for the people.”

While the 2012 Elections have shaped our political climate in the past months, 99Risers are planning to continue nonviolent actions against banks well beyond the election, promising the kind of mass mobilization that Occupy Wall Street attempted in 2011. Our generation needs to learn from the model of organizing that acknowledges the success of direct action and legislative pressure working in tandem in order to build a broad movement and put ourselves on the line, strategically, when and where it really counts.