Max Blumenthal has an explosive story about the influence of Israel counter-terrorism tactics on American police training — and the way they handled the Occupy movement. Very disturbing stuff:
New York – In October, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department turned parts of the campus of the University of California in Berkeley into an urban battlefield. The occasion was Urban Shield 2011, an annual SWAT team exposition organized to promote “mutual response,” collaboration and competition between heavily militarized police strike forces representing law enforcement departments across the United States and foreign nations.
At the time, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department was preparing for an imminent confrontation with the nascent “Occupy” movement that had set up camp in downtown Oakland, and would demonstrate the brunt of its repressive capacity against the demonstrators a month later when it attacked the encampment with teargas and rubber bullet rounds, leaving an Iraq war veteran in critical condition and dozens injured.
According to Police Magazine, a law enforcement trade publication, “Law enforcement agencies responding to…Occupy protesters in northern California credit Urban Shield for their effective teamwork.
”Training alongside the American police departments at Urban Shield was the Yamam, an Israeli Border Police unit that claims to specialize in “counter-terror” operations but is better known for its extra-judicial assassinations of Palestinian militant leaders and long record of repression and abuses in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Continue Reading »
I think they’ll find that the building of the stadium as a quasi-public work had more to do with who got the bond and insurance deals:
For two decades now, Major League Baseball has funded its rise from corporate slacker to gilded cash cow on the backs of taxpayers bullied into building new stadiums. It’s a marvel the government took so long to sniff out the rot that emanates from these deals, though not much of a surprise that the Miami Marlins were the target when they did.
The Security and Exchange Commission on Thursday launched guided warheads at the Marlins, requesting the team’s financial records, communications with MLB officials including commissioner Bud Selig, minutes of meetings with local government leaders and political campaign-contribution information, according to a report in the Miami Herald.
While the subpoenas issued by the SEC do not explicitly detail the purpose of the investigation, the feds’ motives are evident: They want to understand how, exactly, a group of county commissioners agreed to fund 80 percent of the Marlins new stadium, which cost more than $600 million, without ever seeing the team’s financial records – and whether bribes had anything to do with it.
Go read the rest. Huffington Post has been doing a series on the lesser-known Occupy sites in the South:
SNELLVILLE, Ga. — The day after Fannie Mae evicted a police officer and his family from their suburban Atlanta home, the government-owned mortgage giant demanded the family turn over all its correspondence with members of Occupy Atlanta, according to court documents.
In early November, Christopher Rorey, an officer with the DeKalb County Police Department, had invited the activists affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement to his quiet neighborhood in Gwinnett County, about 25 miles outside of Atlanta. The Rorey family had spent 13 months fending off foreclosure. They were on their second lawyer and second civil suit. After losing a last ditch court hearing, attended by Occupy protesters, an eviction was imminent. The Roreys were down to last options.
A large storage bin now occupied their driveway. Slowly, next-door neighbors had started to help fill it. Belongings ringed the darkened living room in neat stacks. In the front room, more was piled on the couch; the big-screen TV had been moved out of the way. The finished basement had been stripped clean except for a lone black leather office chair. In the kitchen, the cabinets had been emptied, and the stove had been put in the bin on the driveway.
The demonstrators set up large orange-and-blue tents on the Rorey front lawn, unrolled bedding in their basement, and hung signs from their porch that read: “THIS HOME IS OCCUPIED” in rainbow colors.
The organizers said they liked the fact that Christopher, 43, was a cop. And they liked the Roreys’ story.