Occupy Wall Street. Police vs people in NY.

The way I read Malor's post wasn't that he was claiming that all the anarchists were actually provocateurs, but that at least some of them were (which is correct for Oakland at least).

I'd buy that, except that he singled out just the one phrase, and had no qualifiers. I read it as the usual sweeping claim.

What I'm saying is that you can't really tell, since we know that police are infiltrating the organization. We know this to be true, so we can't make any further assumption about the particular provenance of any particular incident, nor can we pound especially hard on OWS for failing to contain the problems.

We know they're being framed by the authorities at least some of the time, so the default position needs to be that they are always being framed, unless and until it's proven otherwise.

Malor wrote:

What I'm saying is that you can't really tell, since we know that police are infiltrating the organization. We know this to be true, so we can't make any further assumption about the particular provenance of any particular incident, nor can we pound especially hard on OWS for failing to contain the problems.

We know they're being framed by the authorities at least some of the time, so the default position needs to be that they are always being framed, unless and until it's proven otherwise.

I don't see why that has to be the default. Innocent until proven guilty applies to cops as well, doesn't it?

Stengah wrote:
Malor wrote:

What I'm saying is that you can't really tell, since we know that police are infiltrating the organization. We know this to be true, so we can't make any further assumption about the particular provenance of any particular incident, nor can we pound especially hard on OWS for failing to contain the problems.

We know they're being framed by the authorities at least some of the time, so the default position needs to be that they are always being framed, unless and until it's proven otherwise.

I don't see why that has to be the default. Innocent until proven guilty applies to cops as well, doesn't it?

Well the same logic could apply to OWS, right? So...yeah, there's no default.

That said, since there's already the assumption/knowledge that the police are infiltrating the group, I don't think it's unreasonable to use that to skew your default. In other words, there's already evidence of guilt.

SixteenBlue wrote:
Stengah wrote:
Malor wrote:

What I'm saying is that you can't really tell, since we know that police are infiltrating the organization. We know this to be true, so we can't make any further assumption about the particular provenance of any particular incident, nor can we pound especially hard on OWS for failing to contain the problems.

We know they're being framed by the authorities at least some of the time, so the default position needs to be that they are always being framed, unless and until it's proven otherwise.

I don't see why that has to be the default. Innocent until proven guilty applies to cops as well, doesn't it?

Well the same logic could apply to OWS, right? So...yeah, there's no default.

That said, since there's already the assumption/knowledge that the police are infiltrating the group, I don't think it's unreasonable to use that to skew your default. In other words, there's already evidence of guilt.

In the situation's we're talking about, someone claiming to be part of OWS is known to be guilty. What we're evaluating is whether they're actually part of OWS, an anarchist using OWS as a cover, or a provocateur seeking to discredit OWS. The default would be to take them at their word, but if OWS claims the guilty party is not affiliated with them, and the police claims they're not employed by them, the default would be "anarchist using OWS as a cover" without proof that either OWS or the police is lying. Knowledge that the police have lied about this before would skew things towards them lying (if either group is), but OWS's lack of an organizational hierarchy would raise the question of "who decides who's 'affiliated' with OWS?"

We know they're being framed by the authorities at least some of the time, so the default position needs to be that they are always being framed, unless and until it's proven otherwise.

We know that anarchists are working to disrupt protests according to their own agenda at least some of the time, so the default position needs to be that it's always anarchists, unless and until it's proven otherwise.

(Nah, back to the drawing board Malor, the logic works both ways and so does not help us distinguish between the cases. Conspiracies are extra-ordinary, in the sense of being unusual, and as such require more evidence than just supposition. We know both cases are possible, but we also know that anarchist involvement is more common than actual provocation by undercover police. We also know that that tactic backfires; in Washington DC and New York, police forces have been held legally responsible for the abuse of rights triggered by this kind of action. Not sure about Oakland.)

Robear wrote:
We know they're being framed by the authorities at least some of the time, so the default position needs to be that they are always being framed, unless and until it's proven otherwise.

We know that anarchists are working to disrupt protests according to their own agenda at least some of the time, so the default position needs to be that it's always anarchists, unless and until it's proven otherwise.

(Nah, back to the drawing board Malor, the logic works both ways and so does not help us distinguish between the cases. Conspiracies are extra-ordinary, in the sense of being unusual, and as such require more evidence than just supposition. We know both cases are possible, but we also know that anarchist involvement is more common than actual provocation by undercover police. We also know that that tactic backfires; in Washington DC and New York, police forces have been held legally responsible for the abuse of rights triggered by this kind of action. Not sure about Oakland.)

Not sure about Oakland but UC Davis definitely had repercussions as well.

SixteenBlue wrote:
Robear wrote:

We also know that that tactic backfires; in Washington DC and New York, police forces have been held legally responsible for the abuse of rights triggered by this kind of action. Not sure about Oakland.)

Not sure about Oakland but UC Davis definitely had repercussions as well.

I'm not so sure about that. There's too much of a time gap between the incident of abuse and when the courts say the police shouldn't have done that. And then the only penalty is a cash settlement that I doubt actually comes from the police's own operational budget. That makes it so there's really no repercussions. And if there's no repercussions, there's nothing learned by the police.

Now if say if 100 cops couldn't get raises or more cops couldn't get hired because that money had to be used to pay restitution for a victim of one of their fellow cops, I'm pretty sure that peer pressure alone would greatly diminish any future incidents of abuse. It's easy to hide behind the blue line when there's absolutely no cost to you. It's a different story when doing so takes money out of you and your family's hands.

OG_slinger wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:
Robear wrote:

We also know that that tactic backfires; in Washington DC and New York, police forces have been held legally responsible for the abuse of rights triggered by this kind of action. Not sure about Oakland.)

Not sure about Oakland but UC Davis definitely had repercussions as well.

I'm not so sure about that. There's too much of a time gap between the incident of abuse and when the courts say the police shouldn't have done that. And then the only penalty is a cash settlement that I doubt actually comes from the police's own operational budget. That makes it so there's really no repercussions. And if there's no repercussions, there's nothing learned by the police.

Now if say if 100 cops couldn't get raises or more cops couldn't get hired because that money had to be used to pay restitution for a victim of one of their fellow cops, I'm pretty sure that peer pressure alone would greatly diminish any future incidents of abuse. It's easy to hide behind the blue line when there's absolutely no cost to you. It's a different story when doing so takes money out of you and your family's hands.

Who's budget does it come from? If it's a budget that's higher than the police's budget then those people will still be pissed and still want to crack down, no?

SixteenBlue wrote:

Who's budget does it come from? If it's a budget that's higher than the police's budget then those people will still be pissed and still want to crack down, no?

It typically comes from the city's overall budget, which means it's too far removed from the source of the problem to have any impact. Worse, the city likely has a budget line item for court settlements, so it's just viewed as a cost of doing business not as a punishment designed to change behavior.

There's a world of difference between a police chief getting called on the carpet by the mayor who, at best, is just going to say "don't let this happen again" and the same police chief having to explain to his officers that 15 of them have to get laid off and no one's going to get a raise for the next three years because Officer Johnny lost his cool and beat the sh*t out of a suspect.

In the first scenario you might get some updated training manuals, some tweaks to the ROEs, and a nice PowerPoint deck touting the changes to the brass, but not much more. In the second scenarios, however, it would be made exceptionally clear to officers that their f*ck ups have consequences for everyone in blue and that incidents of police actions that ended in million dollar settlements would result in rapid changes to how police respond to similar incidents in the future.

OG_slinger wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:

Who's budget does it come from? If it's a budget that's higher than the police's budget then those people will still be pissed and still want to crack down, no?

It typically comes from the city's overall budget, which means it's too far removed from the source of the problem to have any impact. Worse, the city likely has a budget line item for court settlements, so it's just viewed as a cost of doing business not as a punishment designed to change behavior.

There's a world of difference between a police chief getting called on the carpet by the mayor who, at best, is just going to say "don't let this happen again" and the same police chief having to explain to his officers that 15 of them have to get laid off and no one's going to get a raise for the next three years because Officer Johnny lost his cool and beat the sh*t out of a suspect.

In the first scenario you might get some updated training manuals, some tweaks to the ROEs, and a nice PowerPoint deck touting the changes to the brass, but not much more. In the second scenarios, however, it would be made exceptionally clear to officers that their f*ck ups have consequences for everyone in blue and that incidents of police actions that ended in million dollar settlements would result in rapid changes to how police respond to similar incidents in the future.

Weren't those University police, with the University itself making the payout?

absurddoctor wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:

Who's budget does it come from? If it's a budget that's higher than the police's budget then those people will still be pissed and still want to crack down, no?

It typically comes from the city's overall budget, which means it's too far removed from the source of the problem to have any impact. Worse, the city likely has a budget line item for court settlements, so it's just viewed as a cost of doing business not as a punishment designed to change behavior.

There's a world of difference between a police chief getting called on the carpet by the mayor who, at best, is just going to say "don't let this happen again" and the same police chief having to explain to his officers that 15 of them have to get laid off and no one's going to get a raise for the next three years because Officer Johnny lost his cool and beat the sh*t out of a suspect.

In the first scenario you might get some updated training manuals, some tweaks to the ROEs, and a nice PowerPoint deck touting the changes to the brass, but not much more. In the second scenarios, however, it would be made exceptionally clear to officers that their f*ck ups have consequences for everyone in blue and that incidents of police actions that ended in million dollar settlements would result in rapid changes to how police respond to similar incidents in the future.

Weren't those University police, with the University itself making the payout?

That's what I thought.

absurddoctor wrote:

Weren't those University police, with the University itself making the payout?

In the case of UC Davis, yes.

But as Robear pointed out protesters in DC and NYC have also sued, and are continuing to sue, the cities over everything from false arrest to getting pepper sprayed. As far as I know none of those cases have actually made their way through the court system yet, which kinda just reinforces my position. The settlements will trickle through over the years and there will continue to be very little connection between police behavior and those payments.

OG_slinger wrote:
absurddoctor wrote:

Weren't those University police, with the University itself making the payout?

In the case of UC Davis, yes.

But as Robear pointed out protesters in DC and NYC have also sued, and are continuing to sue, the cities over everything from false arrest to getting pepper sprayed. As far as I know none of those cases have actually made their way through the court system yet, which kinda just reinforces my position. The settlements will trickle through over the years and there will continue to be very little connection between police behavior and those payments.

The case of UC Davis was what we were talking about. So the fines do come from the department responsible. Do you think the University is really going to write off that many millions of dollars and not make any changes to prevent that kind of loss again?

Not that I think it absolutely won't happen, but I do consider the fine to be an actual repercussion that they will feel.

SixteenBlue wrote:

The case of UC Davis was what we were talking about. So the fines do come from the department responsible. Do you think the University is really going to write off that many millions of dollars and not make any changes to prevent that kind of loss again?

Not that I think it absolutely won't happen, but I do consider the fine to be an actual repercussion that they will feel.

No, you were talking about UC Davis. I was talking about cities like Oakland, NYC, and DC.

In the case of UC Davis the money for the settlement isn't coming from the university's police department. It's coming from it's General Liability Risk Program, a self-funded insurance program the university has to cover all lawsuits. So the university basically already had a budget line item for "lawsuits" and if the money wasn't used for this settlement, it would just be used for the next settlement, perhaps for someone slipping and falling on university property.

So there's really no direct line connection between UC Davis police behavior and any real financial cost to the university.

The primary driver for change in the case of UC Davis is bad publicity. The university doesn't want a cop pepper spraying sitting, passive students to be what people think when they think about the school.

That will be what drives any changes in policy or behavior, if any. But like I said before, the only thing that's come out of the incident is a pretty little report that calls for campus police to get some additional training and that the university reviews and updates its protocols for handling incidents like this. Will the university actually follow the report's recommendations? Who knows?

What is clear is that if they do and future campus police do actually go through the additional training it will simply be another thing they do. They will not explicitly be told they are doing so because one of their fellow officers f*cked up so badly that everyone in the department paid the price so they had best pay close attention.

But as Robear pointed out protesters in DC and NYC have also sued, and are continuing to sue, the cities over everything from false arrest to getting pepper sprayed. As far as I know none of those cases have actually made their way through the court system yet, which kinda just reinforces my position. The settlements will trickle through over the years and there will continue to be very little connection between police behavior and those payments.

Yep. Although the case(s) around false arrest of protesters who were herded into public areas and than arrested en masse during some of the pre-Occupy World Bank protests were resolved in favor of the protesters. I'm pretty sure police behavior since then has not included that particular brand of bone-headed stupidity. The current crop of cases all stem from December 2011 or later, so they are still being resolved.

UK bank regulator Andrew Haldane (pdf) on Occupy. (Via Naked Capitalism.)

It is now over a year since the Occupy movement commenced its
journey and entered the collective conscience of the public and policymakers. One year on, what has it achieved?

Some have suggested rather little, that Occupy’s voice has been loud but vague, long on problems, short on solutions. Others have argued that the fault-lines in the global financial system, which chasmed during the crisis, are essentially unaltered, that reform has failed.

I wish to argue tonight that both are wrong – that Occupy’s voice has been both loud and persuasive and that policymakers have listened and are acting in ways which will close those fault-lines. In fact, I want to argue that we are in the early stages of a reformation of finance, a reformation which Occupy has helped stir.

The rest of the speech is more concerned with the financial system than Occupy, but given recent discussion here about Occupy's contribution to the world, the name-check bolsters the argument that Occupy has, in fact, been instrumental in changing the terms of the debate and effecting positive (IMO) social change.

The fact that there haven't been any arrests yet with LIBOR is damning evidence of just how corrupt both the US and UK governments are.

Malor wrote:

The fact that there haven't been any arrests yet with LIBOR is damning evidence of just how corrupt both the US and UK governments are.

Can't really disagree with this.

pgroce wrote:

UK bank regulator Andrew Haldane (pdf) on Occupy. (Via Naked Capitalism.)

It is now over a year since the Occupy movement commenced its
journey and entered the collective conscience of the public and policymakers. One year on, what has it achieved?

Some have suggested rather little, that Occupy’s voice has been loud but vague, long on problems, short on solutions. Others have argued that the fault-lines in the global financial system, which chasmed during the crisis, are essentially unaltered, that reform has failed.

I wish to argue tonight that both are wrong – that Occupy’s voice has been both loud and persuasive and that policymakers have listened and are acting in ways which will close those fault-lines. In fact, I want to argue that we are in the early stages of a reformation of finance, a reformation which Occupy has helped stir.

The rest of the speech is more concerned with the financial system than Occupy, but given recent discussion here about Occupy's contribution to the world, the name-check bolsters the argument that Occupy has, in fact, been instrumental in changing the terms of the debate and effecting positive (IMO) social change.

You should probably take that with an epic pinch of salt considering how partisan and pro-banking system the Bank of England traditionally is.

EDIT: sorry forgot to mention that technically the Bank of England isn't our regulator of banks. The Financial Services Authority is "the independent body that regulates the financial services industry in the UK". Well it was until our current parliament decided that most of FSA's duties should be part of The Bank of England. Which will more or less leave us with no independent oversight of financial goings on. Yay!

That said the FAS were utterly toothless in the past so I doubt anything will change going forward.

Serious question - what laws were broken? I agree with the sentiment entirely - Malor, I AGREE WITH THE SENTIMENT ENTIRELY - but I'm curious what the charges would be. Is this an area that's even covered by the law?

Robear wrote:

Serious question - what laws were broken? I agree with the sentiment entirely - Malor, I AGREE WITH THE SENTIMENT ENTIRELY - but I'm curious what the charges would be. Is this an area that's even covered by the law?

Almost certainly covered by insider trading and fraud laws.

How so, Dan?

If I'm remembering right, many investors were specifically misled about the risk potential of loan products. Some investors were actually aware of the risks, and short sold against their own stocks failing, using inside information. I'm assuming we're talking about the same thing, anyway, but I may be referencing a different end of the financial meltdown.

Robear wrote:

How so, Dan?

With regards fraud a selection of banks colluded together to lie to the LIBOR desk about their position so that they could later make money on a mis-set LIBOR rate. Both the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the United States Department of Justice fined Barclays for their role in this. Fore knowledge of the direction the rate was going to be set also allowed people to set your financial position to benefit from the fraud, which is usually the kind of behaviour covered by insider trading laws. Oh and once it became known that this was multiple banks acting together I'm pretty sure that would fall foul of Price Fixing legislation which certainly the Canadians are(were?) investigating several banks over.

Related to what charges can be brought up against them:

http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/31/495...

The problem? In 2009, it was discovered that higher-ups at Countrywide had engaged in insider trading during the housing boom – which is how they had so much money to give out in the first place. Their punishment was to pay nearly $70 million in penalties. Since Bank of America now owned Countrywide, it was responsible for footing the bill.

By 2010, Countrywide was in trouble again – this time for allegedly overcharging customers who were having enough trouble making their mortgage payments to begin with. This time, Countrywide got hit was a $108 million punishment.

The next year, though, Countrywide was back in the news. This time, they were accused of discriminating against Hispanic and African-American borrowers during the housing boom. Once again, Bank of America had to dig deep into its pockets to pay the penalty – this time, to the tune of $335 million.

Today, Bank of America is being sued for issues related to Countrywide. Specifically, Countrywide is accused of defrauding the government-backed mortgage agencies by giving out loans without having the proper controls in place. In layman's terms, it means Countrywide is accused of giving out home loans recklessly, without checking to see if it was going to people who deserved it or not – and doing so knowing that taxpayer money would be there to pay the bills if things went wrong.

With regards fraud a selection of banks colluded together to lie to the LIBOR desk about their position so that they could later make money on a mis-set LIBOR rate. Both the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the United States Department of Justice fined Barclays for their role in this. Fore knowledge of the direction the rate was going to be set also allowed people to set your financial position to benefit from the fraud, which is usually the kind of behaviour covered by insider trading laws. Oh and once it became known that this was multiple banks acting together I'm pretty sure that would fall foul of Price Fixing legislation which certainly the Canadians are(were?) investigating several banks over.

Okay, that makes total sense. They should go down for that; I was worried there was no applicable law.

I would love to see indictments and investigations. Any plans on boosting the budget that the justice department gets to investigate anti-trust cases? Do we take money from the war on terror? Remember that systemic de-regulation of the banking industry that was so great for the economy? You cannot, after the fact, try to recreate an environment that would have led to prosecutions this far after the fact. And what little return to normal oversight we have will likely get stuck being unfunded by republicans in congress; possibly rolling them back by Romney.

We won't see prosecutions, because no one was watching and to retrace that is well beyond the budgetary means of federal prosecutors. These are very expensive investigations and suits to initiate.

If you want prosecutions, write the guys and gals holding the purse strings and tell them to boost the budget for the FTC, SEC, and the US Prosecutor's Office. Because as it stands, we are continuing to de-fund the very offices that would enforce the new regulations, and prosecute violators.

KingGorilla wrote:

If you want prosecutions, write the guys and gals holding the purse strings and tell them to boost the budget for the FTC, SEC, and the US Prosecutor's Office. Because as it stands, we are continuing to de-fund the very offices that would enforce the new regulations, and prosecute violators.

How is your letter going to countermand the massive amounts of cash the banking industry spends on lobbying?

I appreciate that comes off as a little glib but it's a serious problem in this sphere.

Because as it stands, we are continuing to de-fund the very offices that would enforce the new regulations, and prosecute violators.

This is very deliberate, and it is part of the corruption.