Posts tagged OWS

A global super-rich elite had at least $21 trillion hidden in secret tax havens by the end of 2010, according to a major study. — BBC

The figure is equivalent to the size of the US and Japanese economies combined.
The Price of Offshore Revisited was written by James Henry, a former chief economist at the consultancy McKinsey, for the Tax Justice Network.
Tax expert and UK government adviser John Whiting said he was sceptical that the amount hidden was so large.
Mr Whiting, tax policy director at the Chartered Institute of Taxation, said: “There clearly are some significant amounts hidden away, but if it really is that size what is being done with it all?”
Mr Henry said his $21tn is actually a conservative figure and the true scale could be $32tn…
…Mr Henry used data from the Bank of International Settlements, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and national governments.
His study deals only with financial wealth deposited in bank and investment accounts, and not other assets such as property and yachts.
The report comes amid growing public and political concern about tax avoidance and evasion. Some authorities, including in Germany, have even paid for information on alleged tax evaders stolen from banks.
The group that commissioned the report, Tax Justice Network, campaigns against tax havens.

FJP: Impossibly large, no? If not, simply staggering.

A global super-rich elite had at least $21 trillion hidden in secret tax havens by the end of 2010, according to a major study. — BBC

The figure is equivalent to the size of the US and Japanese economies combined.

The Price of Offshore Revisited was written by James Henry, a former chief economist at the consultancy McKinsey, for the Tax Justice Network.

Tax expert and UK government adviser John Whiting said he was sceptical that the amount hidden was so large.

Mr Whiting, tax policy director at the Chartered Institute of Taxation, said: “There clearly are some significant amounts hidden away, but if it really is that size what is being done with it all?”

Mr Henry said his $21tn is actually a conservative figure and the true scale could be $32tn…

…Mr Henry used data from the Bank of International Settlements, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and national governments.

His study deals only with financial wealth deposited in bank and investment accounts, and not other assets such as property and yachts.

The report comes amid growing public and political concern about tax avoidance and evasion. Some authorities, including in Germany, have even paid for information on alleged tax evaders stolen from banks.

The group that commissioned the report, Tax Justice Network, campaigns against tax havens.

FJP: Impossibly large, no? If not, simply staggering.

The United States and Childhood Poverty: In the Developed World, Only Romania is Worse
Unicef released a new study (PDF) exploring childhood poverty in the world’s wealthiest countries.
What’s happening in this table is a look at what’s called “relative poverty,” defined as the percentage of children aged 0 to 17 “living in a household in which disposable income, when adjusted for family size and composition, is less than 50% of the national median income.”
Via the International Business Times:

The UNICEF report is far from the first to highlight the growing rate of childhood poverty within the U.S. The National Center for Children in Poverty reports that in 2010, the most recent statistics available, 15 million U.S. children were living in families with incomes below the federal poverty level of $22,050 a year for a family of four.
Although children only compose 24 percent of the population, the organization reports they comprise nearly 34 percent of all people living in poverty. The proportion of children in poverty has been on the rise. For instance, the percentage of children living in low-income families (both poor and near poor) increased from 40 percent to 44 percent between 2005 and 2010, including an 11 percent increase among low-income children and a 17 percent rise among those living below the federal poverty rate.

Filed Under: Unfortunate Chart of the Day.

The United States and Childhood Poverty: In the Developed World, Only Romania is Worse

Unicef released a new study (PDF) exploring childhood poverty in the world’s wealthiest countries.

What’s happening in this table is a look at what’s called “relative poverty,” defined as the percentage of children aged 0 to 17 “living in a household in which disposable income, when adjusted for family size and composition, is less than 50% of the national median income.”

Via the International Business Times:

The UNICEF report is far from the first to highlight the growing rate of childhood poverty within the U.S. The National Center for Children in Poverty reports that in 2010, the most recent statistics available, 15 million U.S. children were living in families with incomes below the federal poverty level of $22,050 a year for a family of four.

Although children only compose 24 percent of the population, the organization reports they comprise nearly 34 percent of all people living in poverty. The proportion of children in poverty has been on the rise. For instance, the percentage of children living in low-income families (both poor and near poor) increased from 40 percent to 44 percent between 2005 and 2010, including an 11 percent increase among low-income children and a 17 percent rise among those living below the federal poverty rate.

Filed Under: Unfortunate Chart of the Day.

Naughty Banks Need a Spanking
Occupy/May Day images from the LA Times, BBC, CNN and Reuters.
Image: A protestor in New York City, via AFP/BBC.

Naughty Banks Need a Spanking

Occupy/May Day images from the LA Times, BBC, CNN and Reuters.

Image: A protestor in New York City, via AFP/BBC.

Photographing Greek Protests
The New York Times Lens Blog profiles Angelos Tzortzinis, a 28-year-old Greek photographer who’s been shooting his country’s protests over austerity measures.
His ideal shooting location, he says, is between the protestors and the police.
Via the New York Times:

Taking photos during demonstrations in Athens can be very difficult — tear gas clouds create a suffocating atmosphere, people without gas masks run in all directions, while protesters who have masks hurl stones and Molotov cocktails.
To get his pictures, Mr. Tzortzinis says he must stand between the riot police and the protesters, every moment exposed to violence from either side. Many times photographers have been attacked by the riot police. But many times, too, they have lost their equipment after being attacked by angry protesters.

Image: A riot officer after being hit with a Molotov Cocktail, by Angelos Tzortzinis. Via the New York Times.
Tzortzinis’ work can be seen the Times’ link above as well as on his personal site.

Photographing Greek Protests

The New York Times Lens Blog profiles Angelos Tzortzinis, a 28-year-old Greek photographer who’s been shooting his country’s protests over austerity measures.

His ideal shooting location, he says, is between the protestors and the police.

Via the New York Times:

Taking photos during demonstrations in Athens can be very difficult — tear gas clouds create a suffocating atmosphere, people without gas masks run in all directions, while protesters who have masks hurl stones and Molotov cocktails.

To get his pictures, Mr. Tzortzinis says he must stand between the riot police and the protesters, every moment exposed to violence from either side. Many times photographers have been attacked by the riot police. But many times, too, they have lost their equipment after being attacked by angry protesters.

Image: A riot officer after being hit with a Molotov Cocktail, by Angelos Tzortzinis. Via the New York Times.

Tzortzinis’ work can be seen the Times’ link above as well as on his personal site.

Of Total Income Increase in 2010…
Steven Rattner, a Wall Street executive and New York Times Op-Ed contributor, writes:

In 2010, as the nation continued to recover from the recession, a dizzying 93 percent of the additional income created in the country that year, compared to 2009 — $288 billion — went to the top 1 percent of taxpayers, those with at least $352,000 in income. That delivered an average single-year pay increase of 11.6 percent to each of these households.
Still more astonishing was the extent to which the super rich got rich faster than the merely rich. In 2010, 37 percent of these additional earnings went to just the top 0.01 percent, a teaspoon-size collection of about 15,000 households with average incomes of $23.8 million. These fortunate few saw their incomes rise by 21.5 percent.
The bottom 99 percent received a microscopic $80 increase in pay per person in 2010, after adjusting for inflation. The top 1 percent, whose average income is $1,019,089, had an 11.6 percent increase in income.

Steven Rattner, The New York Times. The Rich Get Even Richer.

Of Total Income Increase in 2010…

Steven Rattner, a Wall Street executive and New York Times Op-Ed contributor, writes:

In 2010, as the nation continued to recover from the recession, a dizzying 93 percent of the additional income created in the country that year, compared to 2009 — $288 billion — went to the top 1 percent of taxpayers, those with at least $352,000 in income. That delivered an average single-year pay increase of 11.6 percent to each of these households.

Still more astonishing was the extent to which the super rich got rich faster than the merely rich. In 2010, 37 percent of these additional earnings went to just the top 0.01 percent, a teaspoon-size collection of about 15,000 households with average incomes of $23.8 million. These fortunate few saw their incomes rise by 21.5 percent.

The bottom 99 percent received a microscopic $80 increase in pay per person in 2010, after adjusting for inflation. The top 1 percent, whose average income is $1,019,089, had an 11.6 percent increase in income.

Steven Rattner, The New York Times. The Rich Get Even Richer.

Truthout Begins Publishing Department of Homeland Security Documents on Occupy Wall Street
Last October Truthout.org’s Jason Leopold filed a Freedom of Information Act Request with the Department of Homeland Security for “emails, memoranda, letters, audio/video, transcripts, reports, including Threat Assessments, related to the protest movement known as ‘Occupy Wall Street.’”
Today, the first documents have been released.
According to Truthout, a California-based nonprofit, the FOIA request seeks to answer whether the DHS advised local law enforcement officials on how to respond to Occupy Wall Street and it national offshoots.
Additionally, Truthout is making the documents it receives available to the public on its Web site.
I’ve scanned through a few and what’s interesting is not any perceived or nefarious activity, but rather looking at how the DHS’s internal media team acts and reacts to incoming requests from news organizations looking for comments and statements about specific activities.
For example, the screenshot above shows DHS Press Secretary Matthew Chandler explaining to other staff how to respond to inquiries from CBS, the Associated Press, Daily Caller and Salon. Specifically, that coordination is “not occurring in any wholesale manner” and references its official position that the DHS is “treating all of these protests nationwide as peaceful demonstrations.”

Truthout Begins Publishing Department of Homeland Security Documents on Occupy Wall Street

Last October Truthout.org’s Jason Leopold filed a Freedom of Information Act Request with the Department of Homeland Security for “emails, memoranda, letters, audio/video, transcripts, reports, including Threat Assessments, related to the protest movement known as ‘Occupy Wall Street.’”

Today, the first documents have been released.

According to Truthout, a California-based nonprofit, the FOIA request seeks to answer whether the DHS advised local law enforcement officials on how to respond to Occupy Wall Street and it national offshoots.

Additionally, Truthout is making the documents it receives available to the public on its Web site.

I’ve scanned through a few and what’s interesting is not any perceived or nefarious activity, but rather looking at how the DHS’s internal media team acts and reacts to incoming requests from news organizations looking for comments and statements about specific activities.

For example, the screenshot above shows DHS Press Secretary Matthew Chandler explaining to other staff how to respond to inquiries from CBS, the Associated Press, Daily Caller and Salon. Specifically, that coordination is “not occurring in any wholesale manner” and references its official position that the DHS is “treating all of these protests nationwide as peaceful demonstrations.”

Of the 65 journalists arrested since September while covering Occupy Wall Street and its offspring around the country, nearly all of them have had no one to call. According to a list compiled by Josh Stearns, Journalism and Public Media Campaign Director for Free Press, the media policy reform group, the overwhelming majority of those arrested are independent journalists. Some were stringing for mainstream organizations at the time; others, for alternative media, community outlets, or the student press. But a particular feature of the current Occupy moment, coming as it has after a decade of downsizing in journalism, is that the journalists least able to tussle with the criminal justice system—young, alternative, lacking institutional backing, or struggling to pay rent, let alone legal fees—are also the ones who have had to do so.

Free the Network

Via Vice:

[H]ere’s a teaser peak at our latest feature documentary, Free the Network, which looks at how DIY hack-tech is changing the discourse of modern day protests. Our story follows the trials of a pair of college dropouts who head up the Free Network Foundation, a peer-to-peer communications initiative seeking to liberate the global Internet from corporate clutches by building their own decentralized, cooperatively owned, free network, one wifi hotspot at a time.


On Copyright and Occupying the Wall Street Journal
Susie Cagle interviews the creators of various “Occupy” newspapers to see what reactions they’ve received from established brands. The question is whether appropriation of corporate logos, brands and marks is protected free speech or copyright infringement.
In Oakland, the Oakland Tribune sent the Occupied Oakland Tribune a cease and desist letter. In New York, the Wall Street Journal has remained silent about the Occupied Wall Street Journal.
In Chicago, there appears to be some absurdity going on.
Via The Atlantic:

A source with knowledge of to the Occupied Chicago Tribune’s legal situation who preferred not to be identified said the Chicago Tribune’s lawyer had pushed hard in the company’s demands in informal negotiations."Occupied Chicago Tribunesaid okay, we’ll use ‘Chicago’s Occupied Tribune.’ The lawyer objected. So they said okay, we’ll change it to ‘Occupied Tribune,’ and the lawyer objected. They said okay, we’ll change it to ‘Occupied Chicago Times.’ The lawyer objected again.”
"Then he allegedly said something like, ‘You cannot have anything that has a T in the name.’ And that’s when finally it had reached such a point of absurdity that they decided to fight back.”

Image: Inaugural issue of the Occupied Wall Street Journal, via Marcus Franklin.

On Copyright and Occupying the Wall Street Journal

Susie Cagle interviews the creators of various “Occupy” newspapers to see what reactions they’ve received from established brands. The question is whether appropriation of corporate logos, brands and marks is protected free speech or copyright infringement.

In Oakland, the Oakland Tribune sent the Occupied Oakland Tribune a cease and desist letter. In New York, the Wall Street Journal has remained silent about the Occupied Wall Street Journal.

In Chicago, there appears to be some absurdity going on.

Via The Atlantic:

A source with knowledge of to the Occupied Chicago Tribune’s legal situation who preferred not to be identified said the Chicago Tribune’s lawyer had pushed hard in the company’s demands in informal negotiations."Occupied Chicago Tribunesaid okay, we’ll use ‘Chicago’s Occupied Tribune.’ The lawyer objected. So they said okay, we’ll change it to ‘Occupied Tribune,’ and the lawyer objected. They said okay, we’ll change it to ‘Occupied Chicago Times.’ The lawyer objected again.”

"Then he allegedly said something like, ‘You cannot have anything that has a T in the name.’ And that’s when finally it had reached such a point of absurdity that they decided to fight back.”

Image: Inaugural issue of the Occupied Wall Street Journal, via Marcus Franklin.

NY Police Restrict Press Access say News Orgs
Twelve news organizations joined the New York Times in criticizing the New York Police Department for its treatment of journalists covering the Occupy Wall Street Movement and other newsworthy events.
In a joint letter Wednesday they write (PDF):

There have been other reports of police officers using a variety of tactics ranging from inappropriate orders directed at some journalists to physical interference with others, who were covering newsworthy sites and events. Indeed, as recently as this Monday it was reported (attached) that at another OWS demonstration, police “officers blocked the lens of a newspaper photographer attempting to document the arrests.” As a result, a number of press entities feel that more needs to be done if we are to resolve these issues in an amicable manner.

According to The Atlantic Wire:
The police’s interference with the press extends past Occupy protests, the organizations say. An inspector threatened New York Daily News photographer David Handschuh at last year’s Macy’s Day parade, the National Press Photographers Association writes, and another Daily News reporter had his press credentials pulled while covering a fire in December, Capital New York reported.
In response, Deputy Commissioner Paul Brown told The Atlantic Wire that 1,600 new officers have received media training with an emphasis on 1st Amendment Protections.
Image: Co-signatures of a New York Times letter to the the NYPD. Via Capital New York (PDF).

NY Police Restrict Press Access say News Orgs

Twelve news organizations joined the New York Times in criticizing the New York Police Department for its treatment of journalists covering the Occupy Wall Street Movement and other newsworthy events.

In a joint letter Wednesday they write (PDF):

There have been other reports of police officers using a variety of tactics ranging from inappropriate orders directed at some journalists to physical interference with others, who were covering newsworthy sites and events. Indeed, as recently as this Monday it was reported (attached) that at another OWS demonstration, police “officers blocked the lens of a newspaper photographer attempting to document the arrests.” As a result, a number of press entities feel that more needs to be done if we are to resolve these issues in an amicable manner.

According to The Atlantic Wire:

The police’s interference with the press extends past Occupy protests, the organizations say. An inspector threatened New York Daily News photographer David Handschuh at last year’s Macy’s Day parade, the National Press Photographers Association writes, and another Daily News reporter had his press credentials pulled while covering a fire in December, Capital New York reported.

In response, Deputy Commissioner Paul Brown told The Atlantic Wire that 1,600 new officers have received media training with an emphasis on 1st Amendment Protections.

Image: Co-signatures of a New York Times letter to the the NYPD. Via Capital New York (PDF).

Hacking Occupying Iowa

Anonymous is out with a video that says both the Democratic and Republican parties are corrupt and calls for a shutdown of the Iowa caucuses.

This is separate and distinct from Occupy Des Moines, an OWS offshoot that is currently planning protest actions surrounding the caucuses.

Via the Des Moines Register:

But Occupy Des Moines leaders say there’s a difference: The Iowa group’s planned sit-ins at presidential campaign headquarters are not intended to shut down the Iowa caucuses, they say. Rather, they want to target presidential candidates and big-moneyed corporations that activists say are pulling the strings behind the scenes.

While there are similarities between the groups’ beliefs, they are separate, Occupy Des Moines participants emphasized Sunday.

“I don’t like it one bit,” former Rep. Ed Fallon, a Des Moines Democrat and participant in Occupy Des Moines, said of the video on Sunday. “It doesn’t fit with my definition of Gandhi- and Martin Luther King Jr.-style nonviolence. The core of nonviolent action is truth. And if you are doing everything you can to be truthful, then you should be up front and transparent. No distorting of your voice or hiding.” 

Thirty-Two OWS Journalist Arrests and Counting

The Free Press’ Josh Stearns created a Google spread sheet and an ongoing Storify thread to track the 32 “official” journalists who’ve been arrested covering Occupy Wall Street protests.

Both are interesting.

The spread sheet lists the journalists, occupations, news organizations and date arrested. The Storify aggregates chatter around them, and also includes handy link such as Stearns’ Legal Resources for Journalists Covering Protests and the Citizen Media Law Project’s Citizen’s Guide to Reporting on #OccupyWallStreet.

Media Choreography and the Occupy LA Raid

Via Alexis Madrigal, The Atlantic:

During the Los Angeles Police Department’s forcible removal of the Occupy LA protest last night, they chose 12 reporters and photographers to represent the media as a whole. This is called a “media pool”…

…The LAPD deployed this old-school method in a decidedly 20th-century way. First, they didn’t select a single web-based publication or alternative news outlet. Instead they allowed the Los Angeles Daily News, Los Angeles Times, Reuters, AP, the big four television outlets, and a two radio reporters. Anybody not in that group — which would include reporters for every website not affiliated with a newspaper in Los Angeles, not to mention all citizens performing acts of journalism — were told that they would be arrested if they came too close to the eviction area…

…City police departments share a lot of information and if the LAPD’s strategy is seen as successful, expect it will be deployed again in other cities. More broadly, it seems plausible that government agencies will continue to buddy up to traditional media members, offering them exclusive access in exchange for agreeing to the exclusion of citizen journalists from important events.

Visualizing the 99%

The Guardian put together this animated explainer about wealth distribution in the United States.

Click through to see the data behind the animation.