An important message for you from Amy Goodman

Your Donation: $

Friday, October 14, 2011

  • NYC Withdraws Cleaning Evacuation Order in Face of Defiant Occupy Wall Street Protesters

    Splash_image20111014-26580-1u90d7j-0

    Occupy Wall Street protesters are celebrating in Manhattan’s Financial District today after successfully defying orders to evacuate the encampment they have held for nearly four weeks. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg had said Zuccotti Park — renamed Liberty Plaza by protesters — would have to be cleared by 7:00 a.m. following a request by its owners that it be cleaned. Thousands of people began congregating in the square overnight amidst concerns the cleaning order was a pretext for evicting the protesters. Hours later, New York City officials announced the request to clear the park had been withdrawn. We go live to Zuccotti Park to speak with Democracy Now!'s Ryan Devereaux. "At about 6:00 in the morning, a march of union members arrived to Liberty Square, and the reception was one of pure joy, chanting, cheering," Devereaux says. He describes how protesters allocated $3,000 from their treasury to purchase cleaning supplies and then "spent the better part of all day yesterday cleaning this plaza, making sure that it was as clean as possible when the inspectors would arrive, giving the city absolutely no excuse to say that this was a unsanitary place." We also speak with New York City Council Member Jumaane Williams, who is one of many local officials who have lent their support for the occupation. "I think everyone kind of understands that this is a great movement going on," Williams says. “More importantly, it's something that should be supported, just like we supported all the other movements that were going on around the world." [includes rush transcript]

  • Constitutional Rights Lawyer Michael Ratner: Failed Occupy Wall Street Evacuation Order is Illegal

    Splash_image20111014-21773-19ng3ly-0

    Speaking from Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, attorney Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights says New York City’s efforts to displace Occupy Wall Street protesters in order to clean the park violates their First Amendment rights and would have led to a major confrontation. "Apart from the illegality of it, it was just too massive," Ratner says. "It would have been a bloodbath. The idea that they were going to come in here when there were thousands of people all over the place, union people everywhere, they could not have successfully closed this park down... It’s too big now. This park is becoming a permanent feature of the next generation of protests." Ratner was a co-signer of a letter sent last night from the Occupy Wall Street Legal Working Group to Brookfield Properties, who must maintain the private park for public use, that claimed the enforcement action it requested to New York City in order to clean the park raised serious First Amendment and other legal concerns, and warned that police action in the park without a prior court order would be unconstitutional and unlawful. We also speak with an Occupy Wall Street organizer about plans for a global day of action tomorrow, October 15, called "United for #GlobalChange." [includes rush transcript]

  • Alleged Inhumane Conditions for Post-9/11 Suspects Sparks Global Scrutiny of U.S. Detention Policies

    Splash_image20111014-26580-bdm0c-0

    Ten years after the 9/11 attacks, detention policies in the United States are facing increasing scrutiny both here and abroad. American citizen Tarek Mehanna is set to stand trial this month on charges of "conspiring to support terrorism" and "providing material support to terrorists." Mehanna is accused of trying to serve in al-Qaeda’s "media wing." He was 27 years old when he was arrested in October 2009 and has been held in solitary confinement since then. Mehanna was originally courted by the FBI to become an informant. Meanwhile, the European Court of Human Rights is hearing a case on the legality of extradition of terror suspects to the United States on the grounds that inmates are subjected to inhumane conditions of confinement and routine violations of due process. This could become a landmark case in human rights law, potentially damaging the international reputation of the U.S. legal system. To discuss detention policies since 9/11 in the United States, we’re joined by Tarek Mehanna’s brother, Tamer, and Gareth Peirce, one of Britain’s best-known human rights attorneys. She’s represented numerous prisoners held at the U.S. military base at Guantánamo Bay, as well as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. [includes rush transcript]