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March 1, 2011: Libya

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As Police Arrest Occupy Wall Street Protesters, Focus on Banks, Benghazi Analogy?

By Matthew Russell Lee

BROOKLYN BRIDGE, October 1 -- As drizzle fell on the Brooklyn Bridge and the East River beneath it, the New York Police Department took protesters off the bridge, their hands restrained behind their backs, in busses with signs that said "Out of Service" and "Promotional Bus."

  The Occupy Wall Street protesters continue to gather steam, even as most of the media has ignored them, or mocked them for not having a single message.

  Signs clasped to the fence of Bloomberg's City Hall said, "No Bail Outs" and "Too Big Too Fail means Too Big To Allow."

   These references to the four American megabanks -- Citigroup, JPMorgan, Bank of America and Wells Fargo -- about to be joined by a fifth in Capital One seem focus enough.

  Despite the size of the bailouts and the lack of criminal prosecution for predatory lending, there has until now been little direct fightback. Now there is, and the police are out in force.

  "Obama's moved so far to the right," a protester complained, staring as if hyponotized into the swirling squad car lights.

At the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, Inner City Press was pushed back by a phalanx of police. A protester yelled, Are you all getting overtime? The answer was yes.

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No Bail-Outs, at base of Brooklyn Bridge Saturday night (c) MRlee

 A young woman said she had come to the bridge "straight from Slut Walk," another event in Union Square. The talk in the crowd was that those arrested a second time weren't getting bail.

Promotional bus with arrestees inside, Saturday night (c) MRlee

  The analogy to non-violent protests this year in Cairo and Tunis and Benghazi and Homs is dismissed by some staid foreign correspondents. But the energy is not dissimilar, and response is moving at least directionally toward similarity too. Watch this site.

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Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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